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Message from THE


As I reflect on my final year as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), I would like to sincerely applaud my fellow Board members, members of CRKN’s committees, and staff for their dedication and commitment to advancing access to knowledge, even under challenging and constantly evolving circumstances. When I assumed the role of Chair in October 2019, we were all unaware of how deeply our lives would change in a few short months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After three years, I am impressed by the resilience of the CRKN team and community in the face of ongoing change, and it is my pleasure to report on recent highlights of the organization.

CRKN continued its leadership in pursuing sustainable license negotiations through the achievement of two transformative agreements with Cambridge University Press and Institute of Physics Publishing, in addition to significant cost reductions for traditional license renewals. CRKN’s resolution to transform scholarly communications through a variety of paths is a consistently fruitful one, as it considers the diverse needs of members and stakeholders, promotes open dialogue, and maintains access to knowledge as its ultimate goal. In addition to strong negotiations with commercial vendors, CRKN, on behalf of its members, has made significant investments in open access content published by not-for-profit publishers, as well as in the infrastructure that supports open scholarship. I congratulate the Content Strategy Committee and CRKN’s licensing staff for this year’s achievements as well as their preparations for next year’s renewal cycle.

CRKN also furthered the ongoing transformation of its heritage services. Following the recommendations of the Heritage Content Priorities Task Group report published in 2021, CRKN completed the first phase of Canadiana metadata decolonization, finalized the Rights Statement Pilot Project for Canadiana materials, and launched a call for nominations for the new Canadiana Content Sub-Committee, among many other achievements. With these initiatives, CRKN has gained a momentum for its heritage infrastructure that will lead to exceptional advances in the research potential of Canadian heritage and cultural content.

The expertise of CRKN’s member and stakeholder community comes together in the largest initiative of the past year: our preparations to submit a Canada Foundation for Innovation – Innovation Fund (CFI IF) application. While this initiative is in its early stages, the vision which CRKN shows toward establishing digital research infrastructure and sharing Canada’s rich landscape of cultural heritage is impressive. I look forward with great interest to the advancement of this initiative by CRKN and to the establishment of the inaugural Researcher Council, who will guide the development of the CFI IF submission.

Looking back on my term as Chair, I have been inspired by the level of collaboration demonstrated by the CRKN Board, committees, task groups, and staff. This commitment to working together is a credit to the entire Canadian research ecosystem, and evidence of what can be accomplished when dedicated individuals cooperate on innovative goals. I keenly anticipate the exciting places that this dedication will take CRKN in the future – I am sure they will be extraordinary.


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

Message from THE

Executive Director

Once again, it has been a year of extraordinary advancement toward our strategic goals at the Canadian Research Knowledge Network. Over the past twelve months, CRKN committees, task groups, and staff have laid the groundwork for important initiatives to come, including an application for the Canada Foundation for Innovation – Innovation Fund (CFI IF), approaches to collective open access investments, government relations and advocacy work, and increasing access to cultural and heritage material held in the Canadiana collections now and for future generations. I am pleased to report that we were able to deliver this year’s outcomes in a fiscally sustainable manner, best leveraging CRKN member’s investments.

The Content Strategy Committee and licensing staff achieved two transformative agreements this year with Cambridge University Press and Institute of Physics Publishing, the first transformative agreements that CRKN has negotiated with each publisher. These cost-neutral agreements ensure that the community which CRKN members serve has unlimited reading of, and open access publishing in hundreds of journals, at no cost to authors affiliated with participating member institutions. CRKN also continued its participation in open access initiatives such as the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS), Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3), and Coalition Publica through CRKN’s longstanding partnership with Érudit. Through this work, CRKN members have enabled thousands of articles by Canadian scholars to be published as open access this year.

CRKN’s heritage activities have been equally productive and focused on promoting equitable scholarship. Under the guidance of the Preservation and Access Committee, CRKN began implementing the recommendations of the Heritage Content Priorities Task Group, including the completion of a heritage market assessment for the future of CRKN’s heritage services and launching a call for nominations for the Canadiana Content Sub-Committee. CRKN also completed the first phase of the decolonization of Canadiana metadata, resulting in the dated and harmful subject headings “Indians of North America” and “Indiens d’Amérique—Amérique du Nord” to be replaced with “Indigenous peoples” and “Autochtones.” While there is still much work to do in increasing respectful access to heritage and cultural material in Canadiana, these initiatives set a strong foundation for the future of Canadiana and CRKN’s heritage activities as we prepare to build a funding application for the CFI IF that will see significant investment in social sciences and humanities infrastructure.

Another area of growth for CRKN this year was advocacy and community leadership activities. We began a government advocacy initiative to increase awareness of, and funding for, Canadian digital research infrastructure and the Canadian heritage sector within the federal government. We also continued to provide secretariat support for the National Heritage Digitization Strategy, which began strategic planning this year, as well as for the ORCID Canada and DataCite Canada consortia, which began work on a national persistent identifier strategy. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with partners and stakeholders to champion the diverse needs of the wider research community, and I look forward to the great places these efforts will take us.

As always, without the support of CRKN’s Board of Directors, committees, and task groups, none of this work would be possible. CRKN staff are indebted to the insight and guidance that we receive from those who volunteer their time to our organization, and it is a pleasure to collaborate with such knowledgeable colleagues. I am also thankful to the CRKN team, who rise to every challenge with energy and enthusiasm, and whose dedication continues to inspire me.

It is an exciting time to be at CRKN, and I look forward to the coming year of creation and collaboration.


Clare Appavoo
Executive Director

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