Josh Chan

Thesis Formatting Graduate Assistant

Josh joined the Research Commons team in Fall 2019 and holds two roles in the Koerner Library. He helps at the Reference Help Desk and he also works on the Thesis Formatting team with Nasim. We had the chance to catch up with Josh recently. Here is our brief interview with him. 

What areas does your own graduate research focus on?

Interestingly, my program — Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) — does not have a research requirement! However, as an aspiring academic librarian that one day hopes to work at UBC, there are a few areas that I am potentially interested in: 1) Information seeking behaviours of undergraduate and graduate students and 2) human resource management. The concept of information seeking is vitally important in librarianship, and I believe that the more librarians understand the search strategies/behaviours/patterns of students, the better prepared we will be to serve student needs. As for human resource management, I am particularly interested in the role that library managers play in recruiting/retaining staff from underrepresented groups in academic libraries. Being able to participate in research projects for either of these areas would be awesome!

Which Research Commons tools have you been able to use for your work? How did you use them?

During my time at the iSchool at UBC, I have encountered a few classes where comprehensive literature reviews constituted a significant portion of my grade. It was during these literature reviews that I began experimenting with Zotero. I was thrilled that even a novice like myself could simply drag and drop any number of articles into Zotero and have them churned out in perfect citation format (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) for my bibliography. I think it’s terrific that the Research Commons offers citation workshops, as I don’t think enough students (undergraduate and graduate alike) appreciate just how useful citation management software can be.

What one thing about the Research Commons do you wish more graduate students knew about?

I wish graduate students knew just how lucky they are to even have something like the Research Commons. From talking with colleagues, I have learned that UBC is one of the few top-tier institutions in Canada that offers a full line-up of services tailor made to support graduate students. And best of all? It’s all FREE!

Tell us about something that would surprise others to know about you.

I have this random obsession of taking numbers and seeing how many different ways I can add the digits up. For example “971” can be 16+1 or 9+8 or 10+7.

If you have any further questions about the resources Josh mentions, please email