We wrote about the business model of Knowledge Unlatched a while ago, an initiative that seeks to link libraries with publishers in order to ‘unlatch’ scholarly monographs, i.e. to publish them as Open Access titles in a financially sustainable way.

Now Knowledge Unlatched has released its pilot collection: 28 monographs across the humanities and social sciences from publishers such as Bloomsbury and de Gruyter will soon be published an Open Access mode using a Creative Commons licence.

Here is a snippet of the 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.

Because the target number of 200 participating libraries was exceeded, the amount that each library is paying per title was reduced from the target average price of $60.00 to under $43.00.

The pilot collection will be made available via OAPEN, HathiTrust and the British Library.

Helge Peters


As a full-time research associate at the Hybrid Publishing Lab, Helge is currently investigating scholarly communications and learning environments with a focus on business models and digital technologies. He holds a BA in Strategic Communication and Planning from the Berlin University of the Arts and an MA (dist.) in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

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