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Collaborative Advocacy

Over the past year, we continued our work advocating for our members and stakeholders. Using data to provide tangible benefits to our community and leveraging our platform to share their perspectives, we encouraged action locally and across the country.


In 2020, CRKN subscribed to Unsub on behalf of all CRKN members. This tool combines journal-level open access data with citation patterns and COUNTER usage statistics into a comprehensive collections analysis and forecasting tool. In 2020, data was available in Unsub for Elsevier, Wiley, and SAGE, providing members a new tool to assess the value of their CRKN licensed journal packages. Members were able to access their institutional dashboards as of July 2020 and CRKN facilitated an orientation session with the Unsub team. Additionally, CRKN staff have assisted members with their individual analyses.

CRKN staff and the Content Strategy Committee have access to a consortial dashboard with aggregate data which was leveraged in negotiations with Elsevier and Wiley by determining what percentage of the annual forecasted demand could be fulfilled by alternative sources, like open access or perpetual access content.

CRKN also launched a feedback survey in March to hear about members’ experience with Unsub in 2020-2021. A summary of the responses is available on the CRKN website.

Foreign Exchange Service

In 2020, CRKN again offered its Foreign Exchange (FX) Service, with bid and USD billing options for two products (SpringerLink Online Journals and Adis Journals, and Taylor & Francis Journals), and USD billing options with the renewals during the year for Wiley Online Library (Database) and Elsevier ScienceDirect. In total, 23 members took advantage of the service during 2020, securing over $18M US for these four products.

CRKN Conference

The 2020 CRKN Virtual Conference was a milestone event for CRKN, representing the first all-virtual conference CRKN has offered. Planned with the support of CRKN’s inaugural Conference Planning Committee, the conference was held over four weeks in October, and was offered free of charge in recognition of the budgetary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to sessions on CRKN business, scholarly communications, digital heritage issues, and more, the 2020 CRKN Conference featured a keynote address by Dr. Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor of Canada. The conference attracted over 500 attendees worldwide, the most attendees ever at a CRKN event. A summary of the conference, including videos and supporting information is available on the CRKN website.

Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award

Tony Horava was recognized as the 2020 recipient of the Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award. Throughout his career of over 30 years, Mr. Horava contributed extensively to CRKN, serving on the Content Strategy Committee from 2007-2016, and on other international, national, and regional committees and task groups. Mr. Horava also demonstrated dedication in advancing the field of librarianship through presentations and publications, and as a valued mentor. He was celebrated in a virtual award reception on October 22, 2020.

Risk Assessment and Management

During the year, management updated its internal risk management assessment for the effects of the pandemic. The resulting top risks were validated with the Finance and Audit Committee and with the Board during the year.

Budget Development

During the 2020-2021 year, and supported by input from the Finance and Audit Committee, management extended CRKN’s budget model to anticipate the continuation of effects from the COVID-19 pandemic. CRKN’s budget continues to be approved annually within the context and framework of CRKN’s multi-year model.

Information Security

During the year, management continued to advance CRKN’s information security initiatives. Significant developments included the rollout of an enterprise password management solution, documenting CRKN’s existing controls, participating in a national benchmarking project, and formalizing a workplan for additional development.

CRKN staff were able to pivot to remote work securely during the year due to investments in information technology made previously, without a loss of productivity or compromising CRKN’s financial or information security controls.

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