About CWRC

CWRC is an online research environment that brings together scholarly materials and digital tools.

CWRC Introduction

The Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC, pronounced “quirk”) / Le Collaboratoire scientifique des écrits du Canada is an online research environment designed to enable unprecedented avenues for studying the words that most move people in and about Canada.

The repository houses born-digital scholarly materials, digitized texts, and metadata (indices, annotations, cross-references). Content and tools are open access wherever possible and designed for interoperability.

The toolkit empowers new collaborative modes of scholarly writing online; editing, annotating, and analyzing materials. CWRC has multiple digital tools, including CWRC-Writer, Dynamic table of context, and PlotIt, which allow users to explore their texts in new ways.

Features of the CWRC Homepage

The CWRC homepage (available in both french and english) strives to be a scholarly collaborative learning environment. The CWRC homepage features a variety of content for the user to explore, ranging from upcoming events to news items that concern the CWRC community.

The main navigation bar for users is located at the top of the CWRC page. It features quick links back to the homepage as well as links to the Collaboratory, News, About, and Terms of Use.

At the other end of the toolbar are links for CWRC members. Users can use these icons to access "help documentation" or "report a bug", language preferences, login, or join CWRC.

Beneath this toolbar is the search bar, and includes access to an advanced search feature. Users can narrow down their search to specific portions of the CWRC site, this provides more specific search results.

The CWRC homepage has a feature banner to keep users up to date with the latest in CWRC. The banner includes upcoming events, news, and other items pertaining to CWRC. Below the feature banner is a dedicated section for CWRC and participating project news and events. For more news or event headlines click on the View All News or View All Events buttons.

For more information about what is happening in the collaboratory, CWRC has a "What We Are..." section. This lets users see what other members and projects are doing within the site, such as born-digital works or files that are being added to CWRC, what projects are collecting, and what CWRC (or participating projects) are sharing with CWRC members.

CWRC would like to recognize all the support and contributions from our partners and sponsors.

For more information about CWRC go to http://www.cwrc.ca/about/

CWRC Collaboratory

The CWRC Collaboratory displays project collections. This is where users (members or site visitors) can explore all CWRC projects and published materials. If you are interested in the CWRC collaboratory we suggest you share this page using your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+). To do this click on the Share tab located at the top of the project list. Users can additionally view any public workflow made to the collaboratory by clicking on the History tab.

You can change the list order of the collaboratory by selecting a Sort By option (either by Title or by Modified) and clicking Change. Selecting Title displays projects in alphabetical order. The Modified option changes the order so that the projects that have been recently updated or changed are first in the list order.

Additionally, viewers can change how the collaboratory projects are presented. The default option is a list view, but viewers can select the Gallery icon located above the projects in the righthand corner.

To see the Projects Overview page, go to http://www.beta.cwrc.ca/projects

Clicking on a project will bring you to its collection page. This displays the subcollection folders of the project. Users can explore uploaded and born-digital files within CWRC of any participating project. Editing and annotating those materials will depend on whether you are a member of a project and/or if the project has released the lock on an object (in other words, made public for editing and annotating).

Projects have their own homepage, which is customizable by using functionality that is part of the CWRC Drupal interface.

Visualization Tools

CWRC provides visualization tools for users to explore texts within the site. The tools include Voyant and PlotIt.


CWRC-Writer is a WYSIWYG XML/RDF editor. Users can use CWRC-Writer to view XML documents (uploaded or born-digital within CWRC), annotated with RDF entities and edit the XML/RDF tags. The options available depend on whether the creator has “locked” it from public editing. CWRC-Writer is accessed whenever you open an XML document.

The below screenshot shows the Edit option of CWRC-Writer.

For more information see http://cwrc.ca/Documentation/project-editor/#CWRC-Writer/CWRCWriter_Started_Splash.html

Dynamic Table of Contexts

The Dynamic Table of Context (DToC) is a reading interface that provides a deeper reading experience. DToC provides means of navigating a text by drawing on the semantic markup contained in a set of XML documents. Texts can be searched by word, tags, and indexed terms (where present) . These features are represented in the Table of Contents, the Vertical Navigation Bar, as well as highlighted within the Reading Panel (on the far right). The DToC also facilitates the curation of editions in which existed tags can be excluded, included, or relabelled, and sections of text can be selected or excluded, allowing readers to create customized versions of existing editions or anthologies.

Currently, the DToC is accessible on CWRC and can be explore through our open-access edition of the scholarly essay collection Regenerations/Régénerations: http://cwrc.ca/voyant/regenerations. We are working to incorporate it more directly into the Collaboratory.

In the meantime, researchers can prepare texts for the DToC and incorporate them afterwards, as with Regenerations .

For information on how to prepare your own editions using DToC, visit Uploading your XML document to DToC.

Contact cwrc support (cwrc@ualberta.ca) if you would like your DToC collection to live within CWRC.

For more information see http://cwrc.ca/Documentation/project-editor/#DToC/OverviewDToC.html


PlotIt is a visualization tool that plots items according to the place and date metadata attached to it. When you collect different files within a Bookmark List you can use the PlotIt feature to provide the context of their creation. However, if the materials do not have the place and date metadata fields filled in they will not appear in the visualization tool.

For more information see Accessing PlotIt in CWRC


Huviz works within you browser to visualize linked data (RDF).

Coming Soon!

For more information see http://cwrc.ca/Documentation/project-editor/#huviz/HuViz_Concept.html

CWRC Platform

In the most basic terms, the projects uses the open-source Fedora Commons repository software to store the materials in CWRC collections. Fedora provides a robust environment for digital archives that makes it easier to manage and preserve them.

Between Fedora Commons and the user interface is the Islandora layer of tools and services that manage such things as user logins and functionality such as workflow management.

Islandora is an open-source software project begun at the University of Prince Edward Islandora, and uses a mixture of Drupal, javascript, and PHP.

What you interact with in CWRC is a Drupal user interface based on Islandora but significantly rethemed and enhanced to meet the needs of CWRC users. The interface was developed for CWRC by the Digital Echidna team.

For more information:

Fedora Commons - http://fedorarepository.org/about

Islandora - http://islandora.ca/about

Drupal - https://www.drupal.org/about