Open Access “On Demand” with KU Reverse

This blog article describes how libraries can play an active role in Open Access outside of the regular Knowledge Unlatched (KU) collections and models.

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KU Reverse is a program from Knowledge Unlatched (KU) that offers libraries the chance to make sugge­stions as to book or journal titles they would like to finance and make available in Open Access (OA). By turning the process round, KU enables libraries to make content openly available which will not be contained in any other KU collection but will be accessible free of charge to users all over the world.

The standard Knowledge Unlatched model is based around a collection of named titles that libraries can choose from to fund collectively and "unlatch" for their local community and the world to access. KU Reverse, however, allows libraries and consortia to choose content which they would like to make available in OA and for which they would have the funding. This content would be separate from any other KU collection or model.

The KU Reverse model in brief: 

  1. Libraries provide KU with a list of publishers or titles (usually backlist titles) that they feel would be of interest to users. KU approaches those publishers to set up a deal.
  2. Libraries pledge funds to "unlatch" the titles, either alone, or in partnership with other libraries as a group or within a consortium.
  3. Knowledge Unlatched facilitates the unlatching process (collects the funds, pays the publisher) and places the OA content on a central platform (in addition to providing metadata and usage reports).

An ex­ample is the FID Jewish Studies (Specialized Information Services Program) at the University Library of Frankfurt am Main (Germany), who has financed the unlatching of 20 backlist titles in Jewish Studies from De Gruyter. See more information here.

We are also currently putting together a collection of indigenous books suggested by several Australian libraries.

If you would be interested in talking with us about a selection of titles which you would like to finance to make available in Open Access, please get in touch and let us know the publishers and titles which you would be interested in.

By Catherine Anderson


Featured Image Credits: Transcending Art in Hart Plaza in Beautiful Downtown Detroit 2013 Placemaking Photos by Michigan Municipal League, CBD, Detroit, Michigan, USA, September 17, 2013  | © Courtesy of Michigan Municipal League/Flickr.

Go to the profile of Catherine Anderson

Catherine Anderson

Head of Sales, Knowledge Unlatched GmbH

Heading up the KU sales team, based out of the Berlin office. Regular interaction with librarians all over the world.

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