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Collaborative Advocacy

New Branding

In 2019, we embarked on a redesign of the CRKN logo and branding to reflect the expanded portfolio of our organization. Our new logo, composed of interconnected lines in the shape of a maple leaf, represents CRKN’s nationwide membership and our commitment to providing access to knowledge through digital infrastructure. The new Canadiana logo, in a fresh colour palette of green and teal, is designed to be modern and adaptable as the collections grow over time. We extend our thanks to design firm Trajectory for their vision in re-creating our brand.

Journal Value Analytics

In 2019, we enhanced the annual edition of the Journal Value Analytics (JVA) tool by providing improved normalized and publisher subject data, enhanced status details for all titles, and three years of historical data. These enhancements allowed for a more refined analysis that provides valuable insight for members.

In late October, at the 2019 Canadian Library Assessment Workshop, CRKN staff presented the JVA tool to attendees as part of the conference programming and received positive feedback on the presentation and the tool’s design.

FX Service

During the year, CRKN continued to offer its Foreign Exchange Service for two continuing license agreements (Elsevier, Wiley), with the USD billing option provided on two agreements (Taylor & Francis, Springer) under renewal. Eight members placed USD bids and a further nine asked to be invoiced in USD under the FX Service.


Launched in 2016, the Canadian National Digital Heritage Index (CNDHI) is a growing index of digitized heritage collections from across Canada. CNDHI increases awareness of, and access to digital heritage collections in Canada. It now includes over 1,500 collections held at Canadian universities, provincial and territorial libraries, heritage organizations, archives, and more.

In 2019, new collections were added to CNDHI and the website was updated to better reflect the nature of the index and to help improve navigation by including new submission and discovery FAQ sections. CNDHI received 10,396 page views and was used by over 3,500 researchers between April 2019 and March 2020, a 12.9% increase in users from the previous year.

CRKN Open Access Journals List

This year, we increased the discoverability of gold open access journals supported by CRKN member institutions by launching the CRKN Open Access Journals List. A previous version of this list was formerly managed through Simon Fraser University’s CUFTS service, but is now distributed to six discovery systems to allow more researchers to see and access this content.

The list currently contains over 430 journals and is reviewed and updated regularly by the Knowledge Base Entitlements Sub-Committee. More information on the CRKN Open Access Journals List, including a web version of the list, is available on the CRKN website.

CRKN Access to Knowledge Conference

Recognizing CRKN’s expanded mandate as a merged organization, we transitioned our Annual General Meeting to a full conference in 2019. The CRKN Access to Knowledge Conference, held in Ottawa from October 16 to 18, 2019, was an exceptional success attended by 150 members, stakeholders, and guests and over 70 remote attendees. A summary of the conference, including videos and supporting information is available on the CRKN website.

Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award

Christopher Callbeck was recognized as the 2019 recipient of the Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award at the CRKN Conference. Mr. Callbeck was celebrated for his dedicated service at CRKN, sitting on the inaugural Finance and Audit Committee and serving as Treasurer from 2012 to 2017, and for his 30-year career providing financial leadership to Canadian universities.

Risk Assessment and Management

During the year, the CRKN risk register was updated to include a new framework for measuring risk and to incorporate risks related to operating a Trustworthy Digital Repository. The updated risk register was discussed with, and endorsed by, each of CRKN’s standing committees. The Board of Directors validated a final version at their October 2019 meeting.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, management reviewed and reprioritized the top risks facing CRKN and their associated mitigation strategies.

Budget Development

In parallel with the approval of CRKN’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, staff developed the 2020-2021 budget to ensure adequate resourcing for the updated strategies and priorities of the organization. The 2020-2021 budget is now presented by main program area: Content Licensing, Digitization, and Preservation and Access. CRKN’s anticipated revenues were allocated in a similar manner. Considering costs and revenues by program area will support long-term budget modelling.

CRKN recorded its sixth straight operating surplus during the year ended March 31, 2020 and has exceeded its budget targets every year for the past decade. Based on CRKN’s fiscal record, and recognizing the value of investing to support its new strategic plan, the Board of Directors approved CRKN’s 2020-2021 budget at their March 26, 2020 meeting.

Information Security

During the year, CRKN updated its cybersecurity and information management practices. CRKN staff consulted with CANARIE, CUCCIO and Deloitte to evaluate existing practices, identify deficiencies, determine and implement appropriate remedies, and to formalize a framework for ongoing development and reporting. The Board of Directors approved a new Information Management and Security Policy in March 2020, including updated processes for monitoring and tracking incidents.

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