Knowledge Unlatched launches a new global Open Access funding round, introducing more pledging options

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Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the international initiative for Open Access (OA), is pleased to announce the launch of the seventh round of funding today. It includes the KU Select Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) collection of books familiar to libraries, as well as nearly 20 discipline-specific collections developed in partnerships with highly regarded HSS and STEM academic publishers, including, among others, Berghahn Books, Brill and the International Water Association Publishing.

As in previous years, the 2020 collections have been assessed and selected by librarians around the world based on their relevance, including over 100 subject experts on the KU Selection Committee who have curated the content for KU Select HSS 2020 Books. This year, however, KU has introduced some noteworthy changes to the KU Select pledging model, giving libraries more flexibility than before to decide how to allocate their funds. Libraries will be able to pledge for the full KU Select HSS collection, or they may choose to support one or several HSS disciplines within KU Select, based on their profiles and researchers’ needs, including Anthropology, Communications, History, Linguistics, Literature, Political Science and Sociology. 

In addition, KU’s publisher partner offerings allow libraries to support titles for highly relevant topics, including Radical Politics (Pluto Press), African Studies and Gender Studies (Routledge) and Migration and Development Studies (Berghahn Books).

“Librarians continue to recognize the relevance of investing in OA initiatives in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and we are highly motivated by their support,” says Dr. Sven Fund, Managing Director of KU. “Their valuable feedback over the years has helped us develop OA models and collections that meet the changing needs of a global community of researchers and the libraries that cater to them.”

In view of the current restrictions related to the Covid-19 crisis globally, it is more important than ever for scholars to have uninhibited access to quality research content. KU invites libraries everywhere to pledge support for this year’s OA offerings until the end of November 2020. Provided enough institutions take part in pledging, KU’s initiatives will once again enable researchers to publish their work OA and users everywhere will benefit from unrestricted access to the content, regardless of their location or affiliation.  “Open Access only works if it is sustainable long term,” adds Fund. “Our mission remains to make the transformation to OA as easy and smooth as possible.”