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This response to “CRKN–RCDR 2019–2014 Strategic Plan” was written by Francesca Brzezicki, Communications Coordinator for CRKN.

At CRKN, we are now well into the first year of our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, launched in October 2019 at our annual Conference. It has been an exciting and fruitful first year, and we are looking forward to continuing to enact our strategic goals in collaboration with our members and stakeholders.

Since its inception, CRKN has been focused on serving our membership, providing access to digital scholarly content, and collaborating with the community. The 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, in particular, provided an opportunity to re-articulate CRKN’s vision of the world’s knowledge is accessible by all, through CRKN’s expanded mandate which now includes the Canadiana collections and digitization, access, and preservation services.

CRKN uses each of the following strategic goals, as well as our strategic project, in service of open scholarship and access to knowledge.

Transforming Scholarly Communications

Through this strategic goal, we build upon one of our key strengths: innovation. CRKN champions open access in our negotiations with publishers, but also works in partnership to develop innovative Canadian open access agreements, such as the CRKN-Érudit Partnership. With our heritage activities, CRKN is committed to decolonizing the language used in Canadiana collections metadata and identifying how best to preserve and provide access to the materials contained within them. This includes providing long-term digital preservation for heritage content, investigating appropriate rights for content within the collections, and building a robust technical platform.

Develop and Foster Partnerships

As a member organization, we appreciate the immense benefits of working collaboratively with others. Through enacting this strategic goal, CRKN strengthens our existing network and forges new connections to advance collaborative partnerships and promote diverse voices in open scholarship. Our long-term strategic relationship with INKE is an excellent example of the links we strive to cultivate. By working directly with researchers and other organizations collaborating to support infrastructure, we can do more together than we can apart.  Another strategic priority for CRKN is continued outreach and partnership with the Canadian GLAM community as we work together to build national approaches to the discoverability, accessibility, and preservation of heritage content.

Collaborative Advocacy

Another facet of collaboration is represented in our third strategic goal, Collaborative Advocacy. Leveraging our network, CRKN uses our national position to share and amplify the voices of members and stakeholders. Recognizing that data is crucial to developing strategies and approaches that work long-term, we also champion its use in CRKN initiatives and in our approach to open access. Finally, we use our national position to highlight CRKN’s successes and the successes of our members.

Transformation in Action: CRKN’s Strategic Project

Our strategic project, the CRKN Approach to Open Scholarship, underpins our three strategic goals and creates a concrete plan to develop a Canadian, research-driven, comprehensive strategy for access to knowledge. Highlights of this project include the creation of a vision document and key messaging to galvanize support for open scholarship, data analysis to define the output of Canadian scholarship, and the development of resources to support open scholarship activities in institutions across Canada.


The objectives of the CRKN 2019-2024 Strategic Plan were developed with the needs of our membership and the Canadian research community at the forefront of our minds. Recognizing the accelerating movement towards open access, we are planning a range of iterative steps to increase open access scholarship in Canada, which we will report quarterly on the CRKN website (forthcoming). Bold change does not take place overnight, but as we work collaboratively with members and stakeholders, we will achieve our goals.