Category Archives: Open Access

Nor’easter Webcomics Reading

From Irma “Aimo” Ahmed and Allison Pang, this five-years-and-running fairytale-kissed webcomic offers some diversion for New Englanders about to head into our second Nor’easter of the week. Fox and Willow—with Fox being, well, a (perhaps enchanted) fox, and Willow, a harpist—the story unwinds from looting a graveyard through animal spirits readers will quickly recognize from folklore to the current arc which involves, yes, the prediction of a big snow coming….

Each page is generously sized and beautifully colored in a palette that suits the semi-Medieval setting. Readers unaccustomed to either webcomics or reading images wrapped with words on screen can spend the coming real life storm getting to know (and fall in love) with webcomics thanks to this beauty.

De Gruyter and United Nations cooperate on Open Access book project

news from De Gruyter:

Berlin/Boston, 18 December 2017 –De Gruyter and the United Nations are cooperating on the publication of two open access books on mathematics. The UN promotes international cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of outer space, and among its responsibilities are the UN-affiliated Regional Centers for Space Science and Technology Education (located in India, Morocco, Nigeria, Mexico/Brazil, Jordan and China). The Regional Centers are responsible for the development of skills and knowledge for university educators and research and applications scientists. To do this, they use rigorous theory, research, applications, field exercises, and pilot projects in those aspects of space science and technology that can contribute to sustainable development in each respective region.

Both books are open access titles accessible to anyone, anywhere and will form the basis of the mathematics foundation courses within the curricula of the Regional Centers. Both are designed for physicists and engineers. The first volume covers Linear Algebra and the second volume focuses on Probability and Statistics.

“We are very pleased to have had the opportunity of working with the UN to help support the valuable work they do and to help contribute to accessible, timely information for researchers,” said Dr. Anke Beck, Managing Director, De Gruyter. “As one of the largest open access book publishers, we are especially pleased to add to the corpus of quality research available to anyone on”

Continue reading De Gruyter and United Nations cooperate on Open Access book project

What’s new at Knowledge Unlatched and with Open Access in general

Some Open Access news (as drawn from Knowledge Unlatched’s recent newsletter):This October,  usage of Open Access books, funded through Knowledge Unlatched (KU), has doubled within just one quarter, now totaling 228 000 full-text downloads on the OAPEN platform and 67, 068 chapter downloads on the JSTOR platform.

To mark International Open Access Week, KU announced two new partnerships. It launched a new cooperation with Bertelsmann Verlag to make its Open Access titles in social sciences, education, and social research internationally available through KU. In addition, KU’s partnership with transcript makes 200 political science monographs free for reading worldwide. Continue reading What’s new at Knowledge Unlatched and with Open Access in general

EBSCO and BiblioLabs partner to support open access discovery of electronic theses and dissertations

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and BiblioLabs have announced the launch of a collaborative open access initiative dedicated to advancing library and industry innovation related to electronic theses and dissertations (ETD)., is committed to facilitating open and free access to ETD metadata and content. In addition to the fully open website, EBSCO will include EDT metadata in EBSCO Discovery Service to facilitate access and improve content discovery.

Project sponsors recognize that ETD authors are faced with an expanding world of discovery and hosting options for their work. EBSCO is committed to easing the path of discovery. By exposing metadata via the website and EBSCO Discovery Service, the project seeks to increase the visibility of ETDs on the open web. Users will be able to link from individual records in the database to partnering host sites, including academic institutional repositories. Continue reading EBSCO and BiblioLabs partner to support open access discovery of electronic theses and dissertations

Elsevier has acquired bepress

Elsevier has acquired bepress, which, in the words of an insightful Scholarly Kitchen post, puts it in the position of being “a major if not the foremost single player in the institutional repository landscape.  This acquisition solidifies Elsevier’s efforts to “adopt and coopt open access.”

As we’ve seen in the publishing (and library) industry time and again, innovation either comes from outside or from the leaders among us ready to test a disruptive idea. Elsevier acquiring bepress (on the academic side) is very much in line with Penguin acquiring AuthorSolutions (on the trade side) a few years ago. That which disrupts (like open access and self-publishing) is at fiercely resisted by the biggest players… until it is eventually accepted and, more importantly, absorbed.

Read full press release below. For an in-depth analysis, NSR recommends the  Scholarly Kitchen  post .

De Gruyter sponsors Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)

De Gruyter has announced that it is providing sponsorship for the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) to celebrate the launch of the De Gruyter Open Access Book Library on Other sponsors include Brill, Springer, and OpenEdition. DOAB is a service of OAPEN Foundation, an international initiative dedicated to Open Access monograph publishing, based at the National Library in The Hague.

De Gruyter Open Access Book Library contains between 800 and 900 titles and is intended to draw attention to the growing number of open access books. Half of the Library contains De Gruyter’s open access books, while the other half is by publishing partners. Forty percent of the titles are in history, social sciences and philosophy, ten percent are STM books and the remaining 50 percent distributed among other humanities. Learn more about it here. Continue reading De Gruyter sponsors Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)

More humanities and social sciences books made available for free via Knowledge Unlatched

 Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched has announced the ‘unlatching’ of  147 front list and 196 backlist ebooks from the KU Select 2016 collection. Around 270 libraries and consortia from 21 countries pledged towards the unlatching of this collection. This brings the total to 449 ebooks available as Open Access via KU, since 2014.

The Humanities and Social Sciences titles cover 16 subject areas and can be downloaded for free as PDFs and EPUBs via KU’s official hosts’ platforms, OAPEN and HathiTrust. Continue reading More humanities and social sciences books made available for free via Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched announces plans for 2017


Knowledge UnlatchedNSR (supporter of all initiatives bringing open and free access to books and knowledge), is always glad to hear from the folks at Knowledge Unlatched. They shared some news in an email yesterday. Here is an excerpt from the email and the news article on their site:

Knowledge Unlatched’s Plans for 2017

The year is already off to an exciting start as we see pledges come in from libraries all over the world who wish to support KU Select 2016; our HSS e-book collection featuring books from 54 publishers on 5 continents, curated by 40 acquisitions and collections librarians in 12 countries. The outcome of the library pledging period will be published in February.

Knowledge Unlatched is very active in developing Open Access. Our goal is clear: we want to make KU a platform for different Open Access initiatives to allow them to focus on developing their models whilst broadening the funding structure.

1. With JSTOR, KU is testing an experiment on usage. All KU Pilot and Round 2 titles will be hosted and fully available as Open Access on JSTOR, without cost to users.

2. We will soon be ready to add geolocational usage data to the COUNTER-compliant stats libraries are already receiving for unlatched books.

3. In summer we will help OAPEN, one of our hosting partners since the beginning of KU, to distribute their institutional repository version to libraries. This will be an important step to also help “green” OA to advance within institutions.

4. Together with Language Science Press, we are exploring opportunities to gather funding for Open Access from a larger variety of organisations. So far we’ve sought support exclusively from libraries. Now we will be testing a new multi-stakeholder model, including other funders in support of OA.

5. We recently announced that we will be adding journals to KU. We are already receiving very promising submissions from publishers, and a number of esteemed presses are participating in this effort to flip existing subscriptions into OA.

6. We’ve also been working on a project which we are currently calling ‘KU by Request’, with a library consortium and a few publishers in Germany. If all parties agree, we will be offering German-language titles selected by libraries in a particular discipline.

7. Finally, we are working on an idea with title ‘KU Club’. This model would allow smaller libraries to benefit from both networking and information resources as well as governance opportunities.

Open Access Week: Knowledge Unlatched launches institutional usage reports and will partner with Language Science Press

Great news during this Open Access Week – Knowledge Unlatched will partner with Language Science Press .  The full press release is below.  Additionally, KU announced today the launch of its institutional usage reports.  More on this feature can be found on the KU press release.  From the PR:  “The reports are based on institutional IP addresses using COUNTER-compliant data provided by one of KU’s official hosting platforms, OAPEN. Until now, KU has been publishing aggregated reports for the Pilot Collection only.” Continue reading Open Access Week: Knowledge Unlatched launches institutional usage reports and will partner with Language Science Press

Knowledge Unlatched ‘comes’ to North America, garners an impressive number of titles from various publishers

Knowledge UnlatchedEventful week for the folks at Knowledge Unlatched. The not-for-profit from England and University of Michigan Library (UML) just announced that they will collaborate to study and overcome remaining obstacles to the spread of Open Access scholarly publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Under the agreement, UML will provide a North American base for KU, which has also established presence in Germany and Australia. KU will have an office within the University of Michigan Library and Charles Watkinson, Associate University Librarian for Publishing and Director of University of Michigan Press, will join the Board. In the press release today, Frances Pinter, founder of KU, said: “I’m delighted that KU can benefit from the rich and diverse experiences and programmes that are part of University of Michigan Library, source of major initiatives such as HathiTrust and home of Michigan Publishing,” A

lso in the news from KU this week, KU has commenced preparations for its next round of front list and backlist collections, announcing that 53 publishers have submitted 681 titles (from both university presses and commercial publishers). In the press release from three days ago, Pinter said: “The number of international publishers submitting titles has doubled, submitting more than four times the number of titles compared to the last round.”

Way to go, KU.

Both press releases are available below.


Open Access reigns in The Netherlands: De Gruyter signs license agreement with Dutch universities

logo[1]“With this agreement, De Gruyter is furthering the policy of the Dutch government, which has prioritized Open Access for the country’s universities,” says Carsten Buhr, Managing Director of De Gruyter, in the press release announcing the publisher has signed an agreement with The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) to make Open Access articles available in DG’s hybrid journals. The portfolio available to Dutch scholars consists of 370 peer-reviewed journals.

From the press release:

The agreement covers the period from 2016 to 2018, and enables all academics that belong to an associated university to release Open Access publications through De Gruyter. As part of the agreement, the usual Article Processing Charge (APC) that is paid up front by authors is waived. This will apply only in cases where the institution has an active subscription for the journal to which the author submits an article for peer review and publication

According to the terms of the license agreement, the deducted Article Processing Charges will be reconciled with the annual subscription renewal cost for the following year.

Knowledge Unlatched has released some impressive usage statistics

Knowledge Unlatched Image

Knowledge Unlatched has released some impressive statistics on the 28 books in its Pilot Collection, including the following:

  • 80,000 downloads since March 2014.
  • In at least 178 countries (until end Q1 2016).
  • Resulting in an average of 2,850 downloads per book.

The full report, including an interactive map, is available here.

Congrats, KU.


Publishers and librarians, take note: Knowledge Unlatched announces KU Select 2016

Knowledge UnlatchedMore news just in from the Open Access front — an initiative NSR commends and supports. Librarians and publishers, please note the following announcement from Knowledge Unlatched:

Knowledge Unlatched (KU) is asking interested publishers to submit both frontlist and backlist titles for the next KU collections: KU Select 2016.

KU Select 2016 follows on from the successful unlatching of new books earlier this year, bringing the total to over 100 Open Access books. This time we will offer both new books and complementary older books that will be useful to both researchers and students in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Our greatly expanded program is in its planning stage and we will make public the new books soon. Continue reading Publishers and librarians, take note: Knowledge Unlatched announces KU Select 2016

Knowledge Unlatched establishes KU Research

From the KU website:

The last month has been an especially busy time for KU. Not only are we in the middle of a library pledging round, but we are also very excited to be announcing the formal establishment of a new arm of KU: KU Research. KU Research is being headed up by Lucy Montgomery, Associate Professor at Curtin University and KU’s Deputy Director. The establishment of KU Research is an important step in scaling-up our research activities and ambitions, and formalising links between KU and researchers tackling big questions in scholarly communication and Open Access. Continue reading Knowledge Unlatched establishes KU Research

Google Scholar Indexes Open Access Books

A press release from Knowledge Unlatched:

The length of monographs and their level of treatment pose unique challenges in a search environment. Monographs generally describe mature work unlike journal articles, which usually describe early stage work. As a result, it can be hard to achieve a successful search experience for restricted access monographs, according to Anurag Acharya of Google Scholar.

After asking Acharya (co-founder of Google Scholar) why Google Scholar did not index monographs, Frances Pinter of Knowledge Unlatched (KU) says, “I realized that such challenges fall by the wayside with Open Access books.” Continue reading Google Scholar Indexes Open Access Books

Knowledge Unlatched Announces Launch of Round 2 Collection

Following on from its highly successful Pilot concluded last year, Knowledge Unlatched is delighted to announce the launch of its second collection.

If at least 300 libraries from around the world pledge their commitment by 31 January 2016, 78 new Humanities and Social Sciences books will be made free for anyone in the world to read on
an Open Access basis. Continue reading Knowledge Unlatched Announces Launch of Round 2 Collection

Knowledge Unlatched Launches Round Two of Open Access Monographs

KU Handout2

We’re back by popular demand! We’re very excited about the prospects for scaling up. In this second round 25 publishers submitted 155 titles to a long list for the Round Two programme. This is double the number of publishers from our Pilot and trebles the number of title submissions. In addition to our 297 charter member librarians another 130 pre-registered their interest once the Pilot project closed at the end of last year.

The pledging period for the shortlist of 80 books (currently being selected by the Library Collections Task Force) will begin in October.

The above flyer we prepared for the June AAUP and ALA conferences on the differences between the first and second rounds. Many of the technical and workflow issues have been resolved. Nevertheless, there will be more to do after this second round. The community seems very willing to work with us to resolve these outstanding issues, which is terrific.

Knowledge Unlatched releases use data on pilot collection

From the Knowledge Unlatched site:


In March 2014 Knowledge Unlatched started to unlatch books in its Pilot Collection, making them available to anyone in the world to read or download for free on a Creative Commons licence. This was the culmination of a behind-the-scenes process of loading the titles onto our partner host platforms: OAPEN and HathiTrust. The books became live on the OAPEN platform first — followed soon after by HathiTrust. The final book in the Pilot Collection was published and made OA on 2 September 2014.

You can view a list of Pilot Collection titles and download them via the KU collections website here.

OAPEN Statistics

The period covered by the data below is from 11 March 2014 to 31 March 2015. As well as the OAPEN statistics, which use COUNTER-compliant methodology to count each book download, the HathiTrust figures below count views per page. The KU Pilot Collection has also been uploaded to the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive’s website does not indicate a starting date to their reporting period.

ProQuest, UM, Oxford team to provide 25,000 early books as open access text

ProQuest, University of Michigan Library and Bodleian Libraries are making the full text of 25,000 books printed between 1473 and 1699 available as open access content. These are works from the seminal ProQuest database Early English Books Online and transcriptions are care of the Text Creation Partnership (TCP). Details are in the news release below and at the link. Continue reading ProQuest, UM, Oxford team to provide 25,000 early books as open access text

Knowledge Unlatched full report on proof-of-concept pilot for OA monographs

Full Report on the KU Proof-of-Concept Pilot now available here.

Cultural Science Journal has published a full report on the KU Pilot project (Vol 7, No. 2, 2014, ISSN 1836-0416).

Knowledge Unlatched: A Global Library Consortium Model for Funding Open Access Scholarly Books. Full Report on the Proof-of-Concept Pilot 2014” provides information about the Knowledge Unlatched proof-of-concept Pilot, which took place between January 2012 and September 2014. Continue reading Knowledge Unlatched full report on proof-of-concept pilot for OA monographs