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NRC-CISTI, the National Research Council Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information

More on cuts at CISTI

March 4, 2009

Dear colleagues,

I would like to share some news with you regarding upcoming changes to CISTI as a result of the recently approved Canadian federal government budget.

Over the course of 2008, the National Research Council (NRC) was included in the Government of Canada’s Strategic Review process. As a result, NRC will be realigning resources and programs, which will include major changes to CISTI.

The NRC Strategic Review plan focuses on the issue of ‘core role of government’. For NRC-CISTI, this will be realized through the spin-off of NRC Research Press and the transformation to new delivery models of the Information Intelligence Services and National Science Library Programs.

CISTI will continue to exist but will function on a significantly smaller scale, and will seek to deliver some services via private sector vendors or partners. The provision of scientific, technical and medical (STM) information remains a priority for NRC and the Government of Canada. CISTI will continue to partner with other organizations to fulfill its core role as part of Canada’s innovation infrastructure, as feasible under the new model.

The option we have recommended for the Research Press is to move to a new not-for-profit corporate entity to permit a continued commitment to provide a viable Canadian S&T publishing option. Free electronic access to Research press journals for Canadians is in question due to the projected loss of DSP support.

It is too early to say how these changes will affect the way we work with you. The proposed program transformations will require investigation of feasibility and best options, consultation with staff, potential partners and stakeholders, and planning. This planning phase will occur in 2009, with implementation beginning in early 2010. You will be consulted as CISTI moves into the planning phase, and I will provide you with more information when I have more details.

CISTI’s core value of delivering quality STM information service remains unchanged and we will try to minimize the impact of these changes on our clients and stakeholders. However, this year is going to be a very challenging one for everyone at CISTI due to the scale and complexity of the proposed changes and the ambiguity around how some of them will be implemented.


Pam Bjornson
Director General, Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information
National Research Council Canada
Government of Canada

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