Senior staff from CRL, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), and the Joint Information Steering Committee of the Higher Education Funding Council, UK (JISC Collections) recently met to explore the special challenges of licensing and acquiring primary source electronic resources. The conversation focused on major databases of government information and archives, news, financial, demographic and geospatial information, and humanities and social science materials in non-English languages. The participants discussed the respective priorities and unmet needs of the three organizations with regard to acquiring vital but costly research databases.
CRL, CRKN, and JISC Collections agreed to combine their expertise and resources to improve access to major humanities and social science databases, and to work together to better support their respective national and regional research priorities and strategies. The group concluded that international collaboration on licensing and on tools for related decision-making is both essential and doable. Next steps will include the mapping of common national-level needs, assessments of key major databases, and a possible pilot for joint licensing. CRL will continue to post announcements as this exciting partnership develops.