Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the international initiative for Open Access (OA) celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, has announced OA Heroes 2023, which highlights the countries, institutions, publishers, disciplines, and scholarly titles seeing the most usage worldwide. The total user interactions for KU titles (including downloads and views) now stand at 21.3 million—a significant increase of 30% since last year’s KU Heroes announcement.
About 4,000 books have been published OA to date owing to KU’s initiatives, and this number will grow to 4,350 titles by the end of 2023. In addition, nearly 6500 institutions worldwide used KU books last year. Politics and International Studies was the most popular subject, with over 700,000 user interactions.
“OA books are better books. The usage of the titles we unlatch continues to grow, and we are particularly pleased to see the notable jump in total user interactions,” says Dr. Sven Fund, Wiley Senior Director. “These numbers reaffirm the importance of unlatching OA monographs and making them widely available for reading and research.”
KU books are used virtually all around the world. The country that continues to see the highest usage of OA books remains the United States, with nearly 1.4 million interactions, followed by Germany (394,000+), the United Kingdom (390,000+), India (255,000), and Canada (160,000). The top five institutions with the most user interactions in 2022 include five UK universities: the University of Edinburgh, the University of Cambridge, the University of Exeter, the University College London, and the University of Bristol.
The book with the most interactions in 2022 was MIT Press’ Frankenstein: A New Edition for Scientists and Engineers, with nearly 73,000 interactions, followed by UCL Press’ Social Theory after the Internet (nearly 45,000 interactions) and University of Georgia Press’ Medical Bondage (over 36,000 interactions).
As in previous years, OA usage assessment results are based on the data collected from several hosting platforms, including the Open Research Library, OAPEN, JSTOR, and Project MUSE. An infographic that presents the usage data in one place can be downloaded from the Open Research Community website.