Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Knowledge Unlatched - Open Access for all, funded by libraries

We've become a charter member of the 'Knowledge Unlatched' scheme/project/pilot along with over half of Australian university  libraries (we finally beat New Zealand at something. Just.).

Basically it's an attempt to pay publishers for book production to make items open access (via Creative Commons licensing).  The FAQ explains the what, why, how, who, when.  The site says the items will be available through OAPEN.org and the Hathitrust - though my rudimentary tests show that so far they are just available through OAPEN. Interestingly the titles can also be purchased (from publishers, Amazon etc). Also interesting is that they are in Google Books, but not as full text.

Membership of the pilot has closed, but they are taking expressions of interest for the next stage.  The more libraries that join the less we all pay per OA book . That sounds appealing to me.

The pilot worked out at about $46 per book - and we've purchased global open access for all people, not just our constituent populations.

I also like that publishers can still sell the books if someone wants to own a copy. The partner publishers are for the most part University Presses but with success maybe it will be seen as a viable model for others. 

KU in 60 Seconds

I sent a feeler out to Proquest because I suddenly had nightmare visions of IP blocking of Hathitrust content for non-North American countries. Not realising that of course Proquest have long since sorted the Hathitrust into multiple collections to bypass this issue and we track the global open access part in 360 Core for inclusion in Summon and 360 Link.

Anyway one of my key themes for this year's work is increasing exposure of Open Education Resources through Summon so getting KU in our instance of Summon sounds like a nice kick start.

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