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Message from THE


It is my pleasure to reflect on another extraordinary year of supporting access to knowledge for Canadians and the world through the work of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network. As Chair of the CRKN Board of Directors, I continue to be impressed by CRKN’s commitment to transforming the research ecosystem through innovative projects, strategic collaborations, and advocating on behalf of members and stakeholders.

This was a landmark year for advances in licensing negotiations at CRKN. Supported by the Stakeholder Alignment Group and updated Licensing Principles, CRKN met bold negotiation objectives for the renewal of the Elsevier license and announced its first transformative open access agreement with SAGE. Such achievements reveal that even audacious and challenging goals can be met through persistence, a collaborative spirit, and a vision for an equitable and sustainable research ecosystem in Canada. I applaud these successes and look forward to another year of supporting CRKN’s leading-edge content licensing program.

This year, CRKN also advanced its heritage program through the completion of the Heritage Content Priorities Task Group (HCPTG) Final Report. This report will be one of the key documents guiding the enhancement and expansion of the Canadiana collections and CRKN’s heritage services, and I am impressed by the expertise and vision demonstrated within. I would also like to note the successful transfer to CRKN of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) Secretariat this year, a collaboration that will enable both CRKN and the NHDS to lay a strong foundation for national digitization projects in Canada. Once again, it is through the sharing of collective knowledge that great strides are made towards ambitious goals.

CRKN’s Board of Directors, committees, and task groups continue to exceed expectations as they provide expert guidance towards the activities of CRKN. I would like to thank all my colleagues serving on these groups for their dedication and enthusiasm, especially during what has been a challenging year for many. The work of those who volunteer their time to the governance of CRKN does not go unnoticed and is critical to CRKN’s success. I would also like to extend my appreciation to CRKN staff, who have carried out their duties tirelessly over the past year. Their professionalism and support are deeply valued.

As Canadians spent another year relying on digital access to research, education, and knowledge sharing, the importance of CRKN’s work has become even more apparent. I have been pleased to observe how CRKN has anticipated these rapid changes while keeping the needs of members and stakeholders front of mind at all times. I look forward to working with you for another year of exceptional achievements.


Annette Trimbee
President and Vice-Chancellor, MacEwan University
Chair, CRKN Board of Directors

Message from THE

Executive Director

When we launched the updated CRKN strategy as part of the 2019-2024 strategic plan, we knew there would be shifts in the ways we innovate and meet our objectives. What we could not have predicted was the outbreak and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been continuously impressed and inspired by the ways that the CRKN Board, committees, task groups, staff, and members have persevered through these difficult circumstances with outstanding results.

Notable among these is CRKN’s license negotiation results with Elsevier, achieving cost savings of US$17.4M over three years for our members participating in the Elsevier ScienceDirect license. CRKN also announced its first transformative open access agreement this year with SAGE, leading to discounted and waived Article Processing Charges (APCs) for authors at participating CRKN institutions. The response from our community to these achievements was overwhelmingly positive, and I share in congratulating the Content Strategy Committee and our licensing team for their work. I am also grateful to the Stakeholder Alignment Group and our international colleagues for their assistance and insight in these negotiations.

CRKN’s heritage program also reached a milestone this year with the completion of the Heritage Content Priorities Task Group (HCPTG) Final Report. This report was developed over 18 months of dedicated work by the HCPTG and will form the cornerstone of our plan to enhance and expand the Canadiana collections and CRKN’s heritage services. As we begin implementing the recommendations of the report, I recognize that some of this work will be challenging given the narrow and, in some cases, harmful story of Canada’s history contained within the collections. In maintaining a historical record that includes these harmful attitudes and viewpoints, we hope to preserve a record of the truth of our past so that meaningful reconciliation may come next. I would like to thank the HCPTG and the Preservation and Access Committee (PAC) for their support during this process and I look forward to continuing this work together.

CRKN also benefitted from new and continuing partnership opportunities this year. I would especially like to highlight the transfer of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) Secretariat to CRKN, which will provide new opportunities for CRKN and all those involved in the NHDS to strengthen digitization and preservation efforts across Canada. CRKN also broadened its involvement in the work around persistent identifiers (PIDs) by participating in a six-part webinar series on PIDs with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Portage Network, and Research Data Canada in our role as community manager for the ORCID Canada Consortium and co-manager, with CARL, of the DataCite Canada Consortium.

In closing, CRKN’s Board, committees, and task groups have once again provided exceptional leadership and support to the organization this year, and I am grateful to them for their dedication to our shared goal of advancing access to the world’s knowledge. As always, I thank the CRKN team for their unwavering efforts to bring our most ambitious projects and initiatives to fruition. No matter their individual circumstances, everyone involved in CRKN’s work has faced difficulties and uncertainty this year. I am encouraged by the resilience of our governance and staff in conducting their duties with characteristic skill and enthusiasm, and I join them in looking forward to a brighter future.


Clare Appavoo
Executive Director

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