Open Access

Open Access to academic content (free of mandatory subscriptions or pay-walled access) speeds up the progress of research in many scientific disciplines, while also increasing the impact of researchers‘ work worldwide.


Knowledge Unlatched (KU) is an initiative that has been working since 2012 in partnership with Libraries and Institutions around the world to expand and enrich the number of Open Access publications and initiatives. Our ground-breaking crowdfunding model offers libraries, consortia and funding initiatives the chance to get involved in a simple, transparent model without great cost or complexity.

Library Participation

Librarians play a fundamental role in this model:

  • The KU Selection Committee consists of librarians from all over the world who make the selection of books to be included in our KU Select Books model, ensuring the most relevant content for users worldwide is included.
  • Libraries share the cost of funding Open Access content ensuring a truly collaborative approach.
  • The costs of investing in KU collections is less than the cost if all institutions were to purchase the content in traditional forms.


KU is ideally positioned to play the central role among stakeholders by coordinating this cost-sharing dynamic among a growing group of librarians worldwide, who collectively have already enabled over 3,700 books to become open access, resulting in more than 15 million interactions to date.

  • In principle, it is simple

  • But your participation is very important

  • Without having to spend more of your budget

How does it work?

  • The KU Select programme raises funds to finance the unlatching of monographs and journals in HSS
  • The library community comes together to collectively fund the unlatching process
  • Titles for KU Select are not chosen by us or publishers but by the library community, through the KU Selection Committee
  • We welcome any and all feedback from librarians: KU is designed to benefit the library community as a whole and we continuously adapt our model to best suit their needs