Synergies: The Canadian Information Network for Research

Erik Moore

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Synergies is a collaborative initiative of five Canadian universities : Simon Fraser University, University of New Brunswick, Université de Montréal (with the Consortium Erudit), University of Toronto, University of Calgary. The SFU Library and SFUs Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing (CCSP) are the two major participants from this university. The project has recently received funding for three years from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The primary objective of Synergies is the transformation of scholarly publishing from a print to digital environment. The publication of Canadian research results, particularly in the social sciences and humanities, continues primarily in print form at a time when comparable infrastructures are primarily on-line in other industrialized countries. For this reason, and because of the nature of the content, this will be the initial focus for Synergies. Once the infrastructure is operational, production and dissemination services will be offered to all areas of scholarly research.

The five Regional Centres will act as digital publication service centres. Other universities will form sub-networks coordinated by the Regional Centres. The following agencies and institutions, given their own mission and activities, are interested in partnering with Synergies: Library and Archives of Canada, Canadian Association of Research Libraries, and Canadian Association of Learned Journals, among others.

Using the Internet, Synergies will also provide the global research community with a unique Web interface to Canadian research, thereby increasing its visibility and impact throughout the world. The technologies used in Synergies will permit Canadian articles to be indexed more systematically in international indexing databases and the search results for Canadian documents in international subject indexes will be linked to the full text in Synergies. Other dissemination strategies will be put in place to ensure that Canadian content is present in dissemination platforms such as Project Muse, CNRS and Persée as well as local dissemination infrastructures created by libraries such as the Ontario Scholars Portal.

Synergies has already undertaken a proof of concept project to demonstrate that journals hosted by the major participants and using different software platforms can be successfully integrated in a consolidated interface. The demonstration Synergies Website also contains additional information on the initiative.

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