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Develop and Foster Partnerships

As a member organization, CRKN recognizes the importance of partnerships to achieve key goals. Over the past year, we strengthened our relationships with national and international organizations to enrich our network and build towards shared strategic objectives.

Érudit Partnership

CRKN continues to support the development of Canadian infrastructure for open scholarship through our partnership with Érudit. This year, we continued to discuss the evolution of the partnership as Érudit transitions their scholarly journals to full open access at the end of the current agreement. In addition, voluntary contributions from CRKN members were used to add four additional open access journals, beyond the 25 new journals included in our original collaboration agreement. CRKN continues to have representatives on the Coalition Publica Stakeholder Advisory Committee and the Érudit Board of Directors.


This year, CRKN worked with the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) to form a consortium agreement to provide NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) membership to all CRKN institutional members, as well as associate members participating in CRKN’s content licensing program. This agreement allows library staff in 79 Canadian higher education and research institutions to have access to LSA membership benefits.

Regional Consortia

CRKN continued its collaboration with the Regional Consortia (BCI, CAUL, COPPUL, OCUL) as we collectively aim to eliminate duplication of licensing efforts and find other ways to improve efficiencies in the work we undertake. In 2020-2021, CRKN and the regional consortia collaborated to investigate moving several licenses to the national level, including ICPSR (via CRKN) and RDA Toolkit (via Consortia Canada), and released a Statement on the Economic Impact of COVID-19 that supported the consortia in their negotiations with vendors.


CRKN continues to participate in the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) initiative. This year, CRKN supported the Canadian-Australian Partnership for Open Scholarship (CAPOS) gathering as well as the 2020 Victoria gathering. CRKN also provided funding for live streaming of the keynotes.

DataCite Canada Consortium

CRKN continued to work with Portage (via NDRIO) to manage the DataCite Canada Consortium. With CRKN providing administrative support and Portage providing technical and community support, our combined efforts assisted organizations by providing digital identifiers for scholarly content. This year, the consortium also secured funding via NDRIO to minimize costs for members, and the DataCite Canada Consortium Governing Committee was launched with Eugene Barsky serving as Chair. CRKN is also represented on the DataCite Board and participates in the Community and Engagement Steering Group as well as the Americas Expert Group.


In 2020-2021, CRKN continued to support the Canadian ORCID community of practice through the work of the ORCID Canada Consortium (ORCID-CA) and the ORCID-CA Governing Committee, chaired by Mike Nason. ORCID iD usage grew by over 25,000 users in Canada, institutional membership reached 40 for the first time, and integrations almost doubled to 32. This was a year of growth and change, including the launch of monthly community calls, one-on-one priority-setting member meetings, a new ORCID-CA website, new branding and member resources, as well as national and international stakeholder engagement, concluding with a six-part webinar series on persistent identifiers co-organized with Portage, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), and Research Data Canada (RDC). CRKN and ORCID-CA are represented on the ORCID Board of Directors by the Executive Director of CRKN, Clare Appavoo.

In 2020, the ORCID-CA Advisory Committee became the Canadian Persistent Identifier Advisory Committee (CPIDAC), which provides advice to both ORCID-CA and the newly formed DataCite Canada Consortium, as well as advice about the broader adoption of PIDs.


In 2020-2021, CRKN provided in-kind support to the Pan-Canadian Knowledge Access Initiative (PCKAI), led by Coalition Publica. This support focused on projects associated with persistent identifiers such as ORCID iDs. The ORCID-CA program worked with PKP and Érudit in the following ways: by supporting and facilitating Érudit’s membership to ORCID-CA; by supporting and facilitating the inclusion of Coalition Publica within the Canadian PID Advisory Committee (CPIDAC); and by significantly contributing to the improvement of PCKAI infrastructure to support ORCIDs through the PKP/ORCID Working Group.


Representing our  members, CRKN staff serve on the Advisory Board of the Consortia Collaborating on a Platform for Library Usage Statistics (CC-PLUS) project. CC-PLUS was initiated by the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) with the objective of developing an open technology prototype of a usage data platform for library consortia and their member libraries. In 2020-2021, CRKN participated in two pilot phases with several volunteer members. The first pilot was intended to put into practice the software and identify any bugs, while the second provided insight into documentation and community-building needs. More information and news about the CC-PLUS project is available on the project website.


CRKN, in collaboration with CARL, continued to support investments in open access infrastructure via our partnership with the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS).  SCOSS launched round two of its funding program in 2020, which included three OA services: Directory of Open Access Books / OAPEN, Public Knowledge Project, and OpenCitations. To date, CRKN members have pledged over €215,000 to these three services, in addition to over €150,000 for Round One.


At the September 23, 2020 meeting of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) Steering Committee, the Secretariat of the NHDS was officially transferred from Library and Archives Canada to CRKN. Bringing together stakeholders from across the country, the NHDS aims to provide a cohesive way forward for the access and preservation of Canadian cultural heritage through digitization.

With CRKN’s guidance, the NHDS has restructured its governance, with the creation of an Executive Committee and the transition of the Steering Committee into an Advisory Committee. In February 2021, CRKN coordinated a call for nominations for the Advisory Committee that received over 30 responses. Following this, the membership of the Advisory Committee has been expanded to better represent perspectives from diverse regions and institutions within the GLAM sector. CRKN continues to support the NHDS Executive and Advisory Committees as they embark on an ambitious strategic planning process to refine the mission and vision for the NHDS and update its community-driven mandate.


CRKN staff continued to participate in the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI). Founded at Curtin University in 2017 by project leads Professor Cameron Neylon and Professor Lucy Montgomery, the COKI project uses big data and cloud computing approaches to create the world’s leading data set relating to scholarly communication, open access, diversity, and inclusion. Their open source Academic Observatory platform is available on Github:


CRKN staff participated in meetings with the Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship (LINCS) project, which will convert and interlink Canadian research datasets on cultural identities and cultural heritage, making them accessible as Linked Open Data for the benefit of scholars and the public. Eventually, Canadiana metadata will be incorporated into the project, which will improve discoverability and empower researchers to leverage the collections along with other resources in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

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