Knowledge Unlatched updatePosted: January 28, 2015
The Knowledge Unlatched pilot program provides access to a number of open access ebooks in the social sciences and humanities areas.
The Knowledge Unlatched pilot is based on a consortial model where libraries around the world share the payment of a single ‘Title Fee’ to publishers in exchange for books being made available electronically on a Creative Commons license via Open access publishing. The idea behind the pilot is clever but simple: if enough libraries are involved, the cost is lower than each library purchasing their own copy of the work. Griffith University joined the pilot in early 2014.
The pilot covers subject areas in the Humanities (Literature, History) and Social Sciences (Politics, Media & Communications). The publishers included are: Amsterdam University Press, Bloomsbury Academic, Brill, Cambridge University Press, Duke University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Liverpool University Press, Manchester University Press, Purdue University Press, Rutgers University Press, Temple University Press and University of Michigan Press.
In the first 4 months over 13,000 downloads of the 27 titles occurred. Australians were the 6th highest users of these ebooks.
There is currently research being undertaken in the issues around OA ebooks including usage patterns. Dr Lucy Montgomery from Curtin University is leading this initiative. Being able to better discover OA ebooks is also being explored. There are many benefits of OA ebooks for the authors, publishers and libraries. The benefits to authors include wider exposure of the research and proper metrics.
The trial has been running since early 2014 and is considered to be a huge success. 27 of the 28 Knowledge Unlatched titles have been “unlatched” and are now accessible via the Library Catalogue using search terms Knowledge Unlatched Pilot Collection. This link will take you to the full list of all available titles.