The Library supports Open Access scholarly book publishing

March 19, 2014

The Library is proud to announce their contribution to support a new business model for Open Access publishing of scholarly books in the Humanities and Social Sciences area. Typically, this subject area lags behind others in the Open access arena, and books are more difficult to make open access due to their lengthy production. The market for scholarly books has also been in crisis, due to reduced library budgets and increasing costs of journal subscriptions. Previously book publishers could usually guarantee a return on publication costs as multiple libraries would purchase copies for their collections.

Knowledge Unlatched is attempting to rectify these problems, by implementing a new business model whereby libraries from around the world contribute a title fee which basically covers the cost of publication.

Knowledge Unlatched gained support from nearly 300 libraries to ‘unlatch’ or make Open Access to all, a pilot collection of 28 books published by recognised scholarly publishers, which will soon be available through the Massey Library Catalogue. The following is from their press release.

“The KU Pilot Collection is the first step in creating a sustainable route to Open Access for Humanities and Social Sciences books. Support from a minimum of 200 libraries willing to participate in the KU Pilot was required in order to achieve this goal. This target was exceeded by almost half, with close to 300 libraries from 24 countries joining KU in support of its shared cost approach to Open Access for specialist scholarly books.

Knowledge Unlatched is a truly global initiative, involving 137 participating libraries from North America, 77 from the UK, 27 from Australia & New Zealand and 55 from the rest of the world all working together to make the Pilot Collection Open Access.”

“Frances Pinter, Executive Director of KU, said, “Through successfully reaching the target set for the Pilot, we have established proof of concept that libraries and publishers can work together to fund the publication of high quality specialist scholarly books and make them Open Access. This ensures that in the digital world we are not just replicating the old print model, but that we can indeed do better and contribute to breaking down what is fast becoming a new digital divide….”.”

One response to “The Library supports Open Access scholarly book publishing”

  1. Craig Cherrie says:

    Having followed the the development of Knowledge Unlatched from its first specualtive steps, it’s heartening to see their reach is now global and that Massey Library is a partner in the intiative. Humanities book publishing is in varying states of crisis and alternative business models such as KU will be (one) potentaily sustainable way of the future..

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