KU’s plans for 2017


Knowledge Unlatched works together with libraries and publishers around the world to create a sustainable route to Open Access in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The year is already off to an exciting start as we see pledges come in from libraries all over the world who wish to support KU Select 2016; our HSS e-book collection featuring books from 54 publishers on 5 continents, curated by 40 acquisitions and collections librarians in 12 countries. The outcome of the library pledging period will be published in February.

Meanwhile, KU would like to share its new plans for 2017.

Hosting and usage statistics

1. With JSTOR, KU is testing an experiment on usage. All KU Pilot and Round 2 titles will be hosted and fully available as Open Access on JSTOR, without cost to users. We look forward to learning how discovery via the JSTOR platform will impact the use of these 100+ monographs.

2. We will soon be ready to add geolocational usage data to the COUNTER-compliant stats libraries are already receiving for unlatched books. We believe that this will give KU supporters the best possible information of how those titles libraries funded are used within the IP range of institutions as well as around it.

3. In summer we will help OAPEN, one of our hosting partners since the beginning of KU, to distribute their institutional repository version to libraries. This will be an important step to also help “green” OA to advance within institutions.

Developing the KU model

4. Together with Language Science Press, we are exploring opportunities to gather funding for Open Access from a larger variety of organisations. So far we’ve sought support exclusively from libraries. Now we will be testing a new multi-stakeholder model, including other funders in support of OA. With Language Science Press we will include leading institutes of linguistics and individuals to support this independent linguistics publisher run by academics.

5. We recently announced that we will be adding journals to KU. We are already receiving very promising submissions from publishers, and a number of esteemed presses are participating in this effort to flip existing subscriptions into OA. We are excited about this progress and appreciate the confidence publishers are putting into KU and the library community. These journals will be added via KU into the next collection, KU Select 2017, alongside e-books – stay tuned for more details!

6. We’ve also been working on a project which we are currently calling ‘KU by Request’, with a library consortium and a few publishers in Germany. If all parties agree, we will be offering German-language titles selected by libraries in a particular discipline. We will keep you updated on the progress as we know that this has been a demand from partners around the world. It will be interesting to see how KU by Request will work for languages other than English.

7. Finally, we are working on an idea with the title ‘KU Club’. This model would allow smaller libraries to benefit from both networking and information resources as well as governance opportunities. We are still sorting out some of the technical details, but we hope to share news on this very soon.

Knowledge Unlatched is very active in developing Open Access. Our goal is clear: we want to make KU a platform for different Open Access initiatives to allow them to focus on developing their models whilst broadening the funding structure. In this, we need the support from both librarians and publishers, and we welcome feedback on all of our initiatives as we develop our roadmap.