The Health Knowledge Network’s initial goal is to provide 24- hour electronic access to health sciences databases to the faculty, staff, and students at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary, and at the teaching hospitals. Access to the resources would then expand to Alberta colleges, other universities, and hospitals. The early infrastructure of the Network is complex and involves mounting the databases on mirrored servers at both Universities. Database software is loaded onto a UNIX operating system so that subscribers, students, and faculty can access the resources via their institutions. Remote access using dial-in modem connection, a novel idea at the time as this was in the early days of the Internet, is available via ID and password.
The project also has a cross-purpose to provide cost-savings to subscribing institutions. The rising costs of periodicals would now be offset by this collaborative approach to resource delivery.
Some notable CHLA members involved in the project include John Cole, Dean Giustini, Peggy Yeh, and Lea Starr.