All license agreements are signed by the Partner Universities on behalf of HKN subscribers. As a partnership, HKN takes advantage of the licensing expertise at each Partner University. This multi-disciplinary approach mitigates the risk to the signing partners, and ensures the terms of the agreements are appropriate for the subscribers.

Best Practices

HKN’s key purpose is to license health information resources on behalf of non-profit organizations in the Prairies through consortial purchases. Along with securing consortia discounts, HKN manages each step of the licensing life cycle from initial content identification and pricing negotiations, to sign-off and management of the license.

The intellectual property rights of a publication belong to only one publisher. No two publishers publish the same journal or the same book. Given that each publication is unique, from a procurement perspective this content can be considered sole source. For this reason, understanding of the publishing industry is required to ensure libraries and end-users obtain fair pricing and value for dollar.

HKN, and by extension the Partner Universities, knows and understands the publishing industry and the scholarly communication cycle. Understanding the roles of the various players within the publishing environment – publishers (commercial, society, for-profit, not-for-profit), vendors, subscription agents, etc. – is critical for successful negotiations. In addition to negotiating and managing licenses throughout their life cycle, HKN therefore has expertise in:

  • Establishing and maintaining mutually-beneficial working relationships with publishers.
  • Communicating with publishers regularly to resolve subscriber access issues and ensure quality service.



Initial negotiations are undertaken by the HKN Librarian to ensure:

  • Access to content that meets subscriber needs.
  • Appropriate access for a maximum number of users.
  • All potential consortia opportunities are identified (to secure deepest available discounts).
  • Fair pricing and value for dollar.