The Coalition for Networked Information was founded in March 1990 to help realize the promise of advanced networks and high performance computing for information access and delivery. The Coalition was established by three associations: The Asssociation of Research Libraries (ARL), CAUSE, and EDUCOM. ARL is an association promoting equitable access and effective use of recorded knowledge supporting teaching, research, and scholarship. CAUSE and EDUCOM are dedicated to introducing, using, and managing information technology and related resources in research in general and higher education. The Coalition for Networked Information promotes the creation of and access to information resources in networked environments in order to enrich scholarship and enhance intellectual productivity.

A Task Force of institutions and organizations able and willing to contribute resources and attention to the mission of the Coalition was created in 1990 and continues to grow. This Task Force now provides a common vehicle by which over 180 institutions and organizations pursue a shared vision of information managment and how it must change in the 1990s to meet the social, educational, and economic opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. Members of the Task Force include higher education institutions, publishers, network service providers, computer hardware, software, and systems companies, library networks and organizations, and public and state libraries. It is a truly diverse partnership of institutions and organizations with a range of expertise encompassing all that is needed to develop networked information resources and services.