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Initiative aims to 'unite all OA book content'

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The open access (OA) initiative Knowledge Unlatched has announced plans to 'unite all OA book content over the coming months'.

The organisation has launched the Open Research Library together with several international partners, with the aim of freeing up access to scientific content – which is often limited due to the fragile technical infrastructure around it: content is stored in a variety of versions at various locations and without any uniform search functionalities. 

The Open Research Library is working with publishers and libraries worldwide and is open to all providers and users of quality-assured research content. Around 15,000 to 20,000 books have been published Open Access worldwide to date, freely available to users all over the world, and about 4,000 more are added every year. 

Currently these titles are offered for use by scientists on numerous different publishing and distribution websites. Knowledge Unlateched says the aim of this initiative is to combine all available book content under one search and hosting interface and to ensure that the provision of corresponding catalogue data is made available to library systems. 

The hosting of all book content is free of charge – and, in order to finance the ongoing technical costs, Knowledge Unlatched will initiate a partner project to secure the necessary funding.

'With the Open Research Library we want to make a significant contribution to the further development of open access,' said Sven Fund, managing director of Knowledge Unlatched. 'It is important to us to create a modern infrastructure with as many different like-minded people as possible, thus making it easier for researchers to find and use relevant content.' 

In addition to Knowledge Unlatched, the following infrastructure partners are contributing different services: BiblioLabs (hosting, app & technology), the North American consortium LYRASIS, EBSCO (indexing in EBSCO Discovery Service), ProQuest (indexing in the Ex Libris Primo and Summon library discovery services), the Internet Archive, Google (indexing in Google Scholar), Digital Public Library of America, OCLC (Creation of MARC records and indexing in WorldCat and WorldCat discovery services), Researcher App (further distribution covering 950,000 researchers) and numerous publishers.

Interested parties are invited to register at joinus@openresearchlibrary.org and visit the beta version at www.openresearchlibrary.org.