What is GCcollab?

Hosted by Government of Canada, GCcollab is a collaborative and networking tool for federal employees as well as students and academics of select post-secondary institutions.


Who can use GCcollab?

Users are free to use GCcollab as they see fit, within the codes of conduct of their respective organizations.


Academics and students of Canadian post-secondary institution selected to participate on the GCcollab pilot project are eligible to participate. Employees of departments and agencies of the Government of Canada with access to SCNet can access GCcollab.


For a complete list of organizations participating on GCcollab, click here.


Can't I just browse anonymously? Why should I create an account?

Unfortunately, no you can’t browse GCcollab anonymously. You need to create an account. All users must be registered even to browse. All registered users can browse, network, share information and collaborate.


What can we do with GCcollab?

Almost any subject area that requires the sharing, use and collaborative development of information can be supported by GCcollab.


Academics can use GCcollab to connect and network with their research or policy counterparts. Students can ask questions to support their course work and research, or to inquire about potential employment opportunities. Public Servants can leverage GCcollab to identify talent, support their on-going research, find their subject-related counterparts or supplement public consultations processes.


There are other areas of opportunity being demonstrated by GCcollab users every day. Be bold and creative – put GCcollab to good use.


Do I need permission to use GCcollab? Who has access to GCcollab?

No. You do NOT require permission to access GCcollab.


Academics and students from the select post-secondary institutions from across Canada have access to GCcollab using their school email addresses.


Public Servants from most departments and agencies of the Government of Canada have access to GCcollab.


For a complete list of organizations participating on GCcollab, click here.


Is there a cost to using GCcollab?

No…GCcollab is free to use for all participants – students, academics and public servants.

Account Information


How do I register my account?

Go to GCcollab.ca and choose your language of choice. There will be a ‘Register’ button on the next webpage – click on it and follow the instructions. 


Why am I unable to create an account on GCcollab?

First, ensure you are joining from an organization that is participating in the GCcollab project. To find out if you are eligible, click here.


If you are still having difficulty after determining that you are eligible to register on GCcollab, contact the GCcollab Team.


I have forgotten my username or password for GCcollab, what do I do?

Don’t worry, your username will be your professional or school email address.


GCcollab lets you easily retrieve your password! There is no need to create another account. Go to the Log in page and you’ll see the ‘Forgot your password?’ button. Click it and follow the instructions.


You will then receive an email with a link to a prompt to set your new password.


How do I change my language preferences?

You are also able to adjust your language preference by clicking on your personal icon in the top right of any page, and then clicking ‘Account Settings’. From there you will see the Language Settings option.


You can also toggle between the two at the top right of any page.



How secure/safe is GCcollab?

We routinely monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. We track network traffic information such as, the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer, the date and time of visits, and the pages visited. We make no attempt to link the information with the identity of individuals unless an attempt to damage the site has been detected.


For public servants, only material that is unclassified should be posted on GCcollab.


Is GCcollab vulnerable to inaccurate information?

Given that any registered user can add content, of course it is possible for biased, out-of-date, or incorrect information to be posted. You are encouraged to help by correcting information, validating content, and providing useful references. Thus, the overall accuracy of information on GCcollab is improving all the time.


It is the responsibility of each individual who posts content to maintain its accuracy. There is no way of enforcing accuracy. Each individual must be trusted to be effective in sharing information. It should be noted however that any user can and should correct that which they know is wrong. As a reader you need to use your judgment about the credibility, timeliness, reliability, and accuracy of what you read on GCcollab.


Is GCcollab vulnerable to vandals?

Like all virtual workspaces where individuals are invited to participate and make contributions, there is the risk that an individual could disrupt the creative process or vandalize the product itself. However, there are a number of mechanisms in place to mitigate this risk and incentives to dissuade inappropriate or destructive behavior within the GCcollab community.


  1. GCcollab users are required to use their real names and professional email addresses when registering. Pseudonyms or 'handles' are not permitted.
  2. GCcollab is a business tool. It is unlikely that an individual will risk their professional reputation for the sake of mischief.
  3. Given that everything that happens in GCcollab is fully documented and tied back to a unique user account, it is easy to identify someone who vandalizes or posts inappropriate content on a GCcollab page.

When using GCcollab, academics and students are expected to behave responsibly in accordance with the code(s) of conduct administered by their respective post-secondary institution. Whereas public servants are expected to abide by the Value and Ethics Code for the Public Service


What happens if someone posts inappropriate information on GCcollab?

All content is attributable as all entries are automatically date and time stamped with the contributors valid e-mail address. Inappropriate content can be removed very quickly. Participants of GCcollab that come across inappropriate content are encouraged to bring it to the attention of the GCcollab Team. If necessary, GCcollab administrators can remove the inappropriate content and suspend a user’s account.

Guidelines and Policies


What about Official Languages?

We respect the Official Languages Act and are committed to providing all functionalities of GCcollab in both official languages. When posting content, you should consider your role within your organization, your work responsibilities and your intended audience. We recommend that official content and content intended for broad dissemination be provided in both official languages as a best practice.


Is GCcollab open to Access to Information requests?

Note that GCcollab can be accessed by members of the public pursuant to an Access to Information request, by the Members of Parliament, the Senate and their staff in both the Government and Opposition, and that non-Government of Canada users may be invited to access GCcollab in the future.


For any other questions regarding policies affecting GCcollab, please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Use.


Browsing and Navigating


What are the tabs on the top of every page?

At the top of each page, you will find some useful tabs. These tabs relate to the particular page you are viewing. Page tab options available to browsers:

  • Home: provides a snapshot of the latest activity that is happening amongst your connections (your colleagues, groups you are a member of, etc.)
  • The Wire: is like having your own personal microblogging service (140 characters). You can share content for everyone to consult e.g. open events, announcements, etc.
  • Groups: are a great way to share information and interact with people who have your passion for an interest or organization!
  • Members: displays who you have linked with and helps to connect with other GCcollab members.
  • Event Calendar: allows you to post your events in a Group calendar or site-wide calendar. With its government-wide user base, GCcollab can be a very useful promotion tool for your events!
  • Careers: where you can find employment information and opportunities in the Government of Canada
  • More:
    • Activities: allows you to filter through all activity on GCcollab by who is involved (all users, your activity, your colleague activity, your department's user activity or the activity of users in other departments).
    • Blogs: allow you to express yourself to other participants of GCcollab. You can also see "Most liked" blogs
    • Files: where you have the ability to upload a variety of content including photos, Word documents, audio files, videos, PDFs and more!
    • Contact/Feedback: where you can provide feedback, flag inappropriate content or ask a question of the GCcollab Team.

Searching GCcollab


How do I search GCcollab?

A GCcollab search box is located in the top of every page. Just type what you are looking for into the grey search box and press the enter key.


How do I search for other members/users?

Click on the ‘Members’ tab at the top of any page. From there you can search for other members/users. You are also able to view the newest or popular members, or among just those that are online at that moment.




Which software does GCcollab run on?

GCcollab uses Elgg, open source social networking software that provides individuals and organizations with the components needed to create an online social environment.


Can GCcollab be used by Crown corporations?

Although it is true that GCcollab is readily available to departments with a “gc.ca” and "canada.ca" email, other organizations can still use GCcollab by accessing SCNet (SecureChannel). The “gc.ca” rule is not entirely accurate; there are many organizations, such as Crown corporations, that do not have emails that end in “gc.ca” but that are still connected to SCNet. The cost of accessing SCNet is not technically or financially out of reach for most organizations.


I have a file bigger than 1GB and would like to upload it to GCcollab?

The system only allows files smaller than 1GB to be uploaded, so it’s best to compress your file to 1GB then upload to GCcollab.