Knowledge Unlatched (KU) is an organisation helping libraries, publishers and authors to work together for a sustainable open future for specialist scholarly books. Their vision is a healthy market that includes free access for end users.
KU asks libraries to choose titles they would like to support, and to pledge funding to make these books Open Access. In the pilot round, over 200 libraries from around the world paid around $60 per title to 'unlatch' 28 books, which are now globally available.
KU uses the pledge funds to pay a title fee to the publishers of selected books, to cover fixed costs and offset any decrease in sales that result from OA.
The books are licensed under Creative Commons licences - either CC BY-NC (no commercial reuse without permission) or CC BY-NC-ND (no commercial reuse or derivatives without permission). For more information on CC licences, see Creative Commons.
The current round of funding has two components - front list ( not yet published) and back list (recent releases) titles.
Publishers are invited to suggest titles for these collections. A selection committee of partner libraries then vote for the titles they would like to see in the collection. A short list of titles is then created, which libraries can view and 'pledge' to support.
Sydney University Press is always looking for new ways to reach readers. So this year, we decided to submit a few titles. This allows us to gauge if libraries around the world share the same enthusiasm for our books as we do. If our titles are selected, we can also assess the impact this has on citations, readership and sales. Stay tuned!
To see previous KU unlatched titles, see here for Round 2:
KU Round 2 titles