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Knowledge Unlatched Pilot Collection will become OA

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The Knowledge Unlatched (KU) Pilot Collection of 28 new books from 13 scholarly publishers will become open access.

According to the initiative, the KU Pilot Collection is the first step in creating a sustainable route to open access for humanities and social sciences (HSS) 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 OA for specialist scholarly books.

The initiative involves 137 participating libraries from North America, 77 from the UK, 27 from Australia and New Zealand and 55 from the rest of the world.

Everyone, anywhere in the world, will soon be able to access the KU Pilot Collection books for free on the following websites: OAPEN, HathiTrust and the British Library, says KU. Titles in the Pilot Collection will be discoverable in the Directory of Open Access Books and WorldCat. All of the titles will be preserved via the British Library, CLOCKSS, HathiTrust, and Portico.

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. 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.'