Knowledge Unlatched and Open Access books

The University of Kent has joined Knowledge Unlatched to help make 343 more books freely available worldwide

Open Access books

Open Access books are online publications that are freely available to anyone with access to the internet. This means that you do not need to be a member of a university or a library to use them and you do not have to pay to use or download them. The main benefit is wider readership and increased use.

But the publication costs need to be paid for somehow.

Knowledge Unlatched

One answer is Knowledge Unlatched which is a not-for-profit company that was established in 2012 with the aim of creating a sustainable model for Open Access book publishing.

How Knowledge Unlatched works

Knowledge Unlatched uses a consortium model in which publishers are asked  to offer newly published books to libraries on the basis that they are made immediately Open Access upon publication. In return the consortium pays a fee for each title.  Libraries around the world are then invited to join the consortium and share the costs of the title fees. The more libraries who take part in the consortium, the lower the cost for each institution.

Knowledge Unlatched, the University of Kent and the latest collection

The University of Kent was one of the 270 libraries from 21 countries that pledged money towards making a further 343 books freely available. 147 of these are new titles and 196 backlist e-books. This brings the total to 449 e-books made available as Open Access via Knowledge Unlatched since 2014.

The libraries in the consortium

The list of other libraries who took part is here.

The publishers

54 publishers took part and offered to make some of their books Open Access for a fixed fee; these included Cambridge University Press and Manchester University Press.

The book titles

The Humanities and Social Sciences titles cover sixteen subject areas. The titles in the latest Open Access collection are listed here

How to find and use the books

The books can be found in Google and other search engines. They can be downloaded for free as PDFs and EPUBs. They are also available on the OAPEN platform. They will soon be available in our LibrarySearch too.

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