3 March 2014

Knowledge Unlatched pilot exceeds 200 sign-ups

The Knowledge Unlatched team are delighted to inform us that they have reached (and exceeded) the target of 200 libraries joining their pilot project to share the costs of ‘unlatching’ a collection 28 front-list titles from 13 recognised scholarly publishers.

With sign-ups from 19 countries in 4 continents the pilot has revealed the interest in Libraries worldwide in examining new business models that help to decrease the cost of monograph acquisitions. St Andrews signed up at the start of the pilot as we were also very keen to support this new model for OA publishing.

Here’s a brief explanation of how the model works:
The Knowledge Unlatched model depends on many libraries from around the world sharing the payment of a single Title Fee to a publisher, in return for a book being made available on a Creative Commons licence via OAPEN and HathiTrust as a fully downloadable PDF.
The Title Fee represents the basic cost of publishing a book. Because the Title Fee is a fixed amount, as more libraries participate in Knowledge Unlatched, the per-library cost of ‘unlatching’ each title declines. For example:


Access to the Title Fee allows publishers to feel confident that they will not make a loss on a title if it is made Open Access. Publishers are willing to provide libraries with discounts and make books available on Open Access licences if they can be assured that their core costs will be covered.
Due to the success of the pilot, the Knowledge Unlatched team anticipate that the number of sign-ups will continue to increase as will the scope and range of monographs made available for ‘unlatching’. The model is also expected to be financially self-sustaining as the costs of operating the project will be covered by a small percentage of each Title Fee.

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