Shaping KU Select Books

How Librarians play a key role in selecting the most relevant content
Shaping KU Select Books

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Knowledge Unlatched (KU) makes scholarly content freely available to everyone and contributes to the development of the Open Access (OA) infrastructure. With support from around 600 libraries worldwide, we have already made 1,500 books and 23 journals freely available Open Access to over four million users. The book titles selected for our KU Select Books Collections are not chosen by ourselves or by publishers, but by the international library community, in order to make sure that the selected titles are the most relevant ones to users worldwide.  

The KU Selection Committee 2020 currently comprises about 140 librarians from all over the world who are subject experts in the relevant fields of Humanities and Social Sciences. A key goal this year was to include more librarians from those regions where KU has not previously been as strong. We are especially pleased that 10 librarians from Asia/Africa are on the Selection Committee this year, also 7 from South America. We hope that the more global spread among the members will result in even more international relevance for the titles which make the final title list of KU Select 2020 HSS Books.

Members of the KU Selection Committee have an active say in selecting the quality and scope of titles to be included in the KU Select HSS Books Collection through a quick and easy voting process that takes place in the KU Online Portal during the months of March-April. The final title selection base on their votes is then made available at the launch of the new collection at the start of May.

We will be collating a short analysis of the 2020 selection process once the voting has been completed and will be looking at top subjects by votes, top titles, publishers with the most votes etc. We will be sharing this analysis with all KU Select Committee Members and here in this ORC room. Details of the 2019 analysis can be found here.

Applications for the KU Selection Committee 2020 are now closed. But any librarians wishing to be involved in 2021 should send an email to and keep an eye on for details. 

By Catherine Anderson

Featured Image Credits: Inside the bookstore, April 14, 2009 | © Courtesy of David Woo/Flickr.

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