Canadian Research Knowledge Network Concludes Agreements for $140 Million in
Digital Research Content

OTTAWA, Jan. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) is pleased to announce the conclusion of three-year license renewals with 14 scholarly publishers, valued at approximately $140 million (CAD). These agreements follow an extended round of negotiations with publishers, aimed at providing CRKN's 73 university members with world-class resources that foster innovative research and allow Canadian researchers to remain internationally competitive.

Despite major financial constraints and uncertainty worldwide, CRKN continues to meet its goals of providing high-impact content for over 850,000 university researchers and students across the country. "This achievement signals CRKN's contribution to a fertile research environment in Canada, and ability to maintain advantageous terms and price predictability in spite of turbulent economic conditions," states Deb deBruijn, Executive Director. "Through strong arrangements with vendors, member participation in these national agreements has been largely maintained from the previous period, and has even grown on some agreements, across all sizes of universities." Please refer to the Backgrounder for publishers, products and participation levels.

CRKN members have taken advantage of new flexibility offered in the renewal as multiple agreements have been unbundled by CRKN, allowing members to tailor their participation in each separate agreement. Members' return on investment is high through these agreements. A conservative estimate reflects savings of between 15% to over 50% within the national agreements compared to institutional prices for comparable content, representing savings of over $40 million over a three-year period. In addition, members derive value through superior price protection with caps on annual increases set below market norm, expanded usage terms through the CRKN model license agreement, and the most strategic influence with publishers regarding future services and developments.

The license renewals were undertaken with the support of the CRKN Negotiations Resource Team, which includes representatives of regional library consortia across the country. "This was a lengthy process, given the number of products involved and the added complexity of unbundling a set of core licenses," explains Martha Whitehead, Chair of the Negotiations Resource Team. "Our overarching goal is always to reach win-win agreements that build national research infrastructure. Despite many challenges, including severe economic pressures on our member universities, we were pleased to achieve very high participation levels in the renewals across the country."

In keeping with the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and its Impact on Consortial Licenses, CRKN seeks to work with strategic partners that demonstrate flexibility, competitive pricing models, and delivery of long-term value. Vendors with whom CRKN works have shown their commitment to members by providing flexible payment terms, making cost containment a priority, and developing forward-looking ways to add value to the relationship. For example, several vendors will now provide support for Shibboleth, an open-source implementation for identity-based authentication and authorization, and will also participate in the recently-implemented Canadian Access Federation, which will provide federated access management services for identity providers (including universities and libraries) and service providers (such as publishers).

The license renewals represent a diverse portfolio of content, and include science/technology/medical content as well as humanities and social sciences content, in diverse formats such as e-journals, databases, primary sources, newspapers and historical archives. These agreements leverage CRKN members' own institutional funds, and are not dependant on investments from external granting sources.

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network is a partnership of Canadian universities, dedicated to expanding digital content for the academic research enterprise in Canada. Through the coordinated leadership of librarians, researchers, and administrators, CRKN undertakes large-scale content acquisition and licensing initiatives in order to build knowledge infrastructure and research capacity in 73 of Canada's universities.

SOURCE Canadian Research Knowledge Network

For further information: For further information: Dyna Vink, Communications Manager, Canadian Research Knowledge Network,, (613) 907-7034

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