Knowledge Unlatched: Enabling Open Access for Scholarly Books

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Although digital technology has made it possible for many more people to access content at no extra cost, fewer people than ever before are able to read the books written by university-based researchers. This presentation explores the role that open access licenses and collective action might play in reviving the scholarly monograph: a specialised area of academic publishing that has seen sales decline by more than 90 per cent over the past three decades. It also introduces Knowledge Unlatched an ambitious attempt to create an internationally coordinated, sustainable route to open access for scholarly books. Knowledge Unlatched is now in its pilot phase.

Transcript of Knowledge Unlatched: Enabling Open Access for Scholarly Books

  • 1. Knowledge Unlatched: Enabling Open Access for Scholarly Books Lucy Montgomery
  • 2. This Presentation Open Access Challenges for Books What is Knowledge Unlatched? KUs Goals How does it work? Pilot Collection and Next Steps
  • 3. Context: A Troubled Market Sales of academic monographs have declined by 90% over 20 years Prices have increased beyond inflation Publishers are struggling to cover their costs Libraries struggling to afford books Academics are struggling to get published Readers have limited access to the books they want
  • 4. Why Are Books In trouble? A very small market (libraries) Library budgets under pressure The number of monograph titles has increased Print runs for each title have decreased Publishers must spread the costs of publishing each title over a smaller number of copies Journals have become (much) more expensive
  • 5. Open Access for Books? The Open Access challenge has arrived at a moment when markets for monographs are struggling to cope with the wider effects of digital disruption Digital technology is providing opportunities to widen access and increase impact Research funders are beginning to require Open Access Many authors would like Open Access options But how should OA books be paid for?
  • 6. Challenges The cost of publishing a 70,000 100,000 word monograph higher than the cost of publishing a 5,000 10,000 word journal article HSS research budgets are small Some authors arent attached to a research budget at all Author-side payment approaches being taken up by journals wontwork Advantages to demand led, market based approaches to funding publishing
  • 7. The Stakes Locking monographs behind paywalls handicaps them in a digital world OA is a great way to lower barriers to access and to ensure that the knowledge contained in book length publications is amplified, rather than lost There is a danger that the core outputs of STEM disciplines will be OA, but the core outputs of HASS disciplines will remain closed Creative approaches to supporting open access books are needed!
  • 8. Knowledge Unlatched
  • 9. What is Knowledge Unlatched? Not-for-profit Libraries from around the world collaborate to share the costs of making books open access CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND license Front-list titles (new books) Immediate upon publication (no embargo)
  • 10. Partners Founding Libraries Jisc Collections LYRASIS Queensland University of Technology Max Planck Society The University of Melbourne New York Public Library The University of Western Australia OAPEN Key Supporters Big Innovation Center British Library Trust Open Society Foundation
  • 11. Knowledge Unlatched Goals A sustainable route to OA for Humanities and Social Science (HSS) books (long-form publications) Spread costs of OA across many institutions globally Ensuring that HSS long-form publications are as accessible as OA (science) journals Help libraries to maximize the positive impact of spending on books
  • 12. How Does it Work? Knowledge Unlatched is helping libraries from around the world to coordinate their monograph purchases Libraries can choose to jointly offer a Title Fee payment to publishers In return, publishers make titles selected by the community available on Open Access
  • 13. What it Looks Like Publishers offer forthcoming books to libraries via Knowledge Unlatched Libraries pledge a capped amount to unlatch the books If enough libraries pledge, the libraries share the payment of a Title Fee for each book Publishers make a PDF version of titles available on an OA license via OAPEN upon publication Books are preserved and discoverable. MARC records available for all titles
  • 14. What is a Title Fee? The Title Fee represents the basic cost of publishing a book Payment of the Title Fee allows publishers to feel confident that they will break even on each title Because the Title Fee is a fixed amount as the number of libraries pledging increases, the cost per library decreases
  • 15. Title Fee Examples
  • 16. The Pilot Collection Proof of concept for Knowledge Unlatched 28 new books from 13 publishers Literature; History; Politics; Media & Communications At least 200 libraries from around the world need to sign up so that the collection can be made OA Maximum cost per library: $1680. This is an average of $60 per title If more libraries pledge, the cost for each library will be less
  • 17. An Opportunity to Help Shape Knowledge Unlatched Libraries that help unlatch the Pilot Collection gain governance rights They will be able to help shape the future of Knowledge Unlatched through: A Library Steering Committee and a Collection Committee KU also plans to establish a joint Library/Publisher forum in early 2014
  • 18. Pilot Collection Publishers Amsterdam University Press Manchester University Press Bloomsbury Academic Purdue University Press Brill Rutgers University Press Cambridge University Press Temple University Press De Gruyter University of Michigan Press Duke University Press Edinburgh University Press Liverpool University Press
  • 19. Avoiding Double Dipping The amount a library pays will be adjusted to reflect additional format purchases made by each library If a library orders (or intends to order) a print or eBook format of any title in the Pilot Collection via any channel they will not be charged an unlatching fee for that title If a library orders all of the titles in the Pilot Collection through other channels there may be no amount due This approach will be refined in future rounds
  • 20. Benefits for Participating Libraries The ability to ensure that other format purchases contribute to making the Pilot Collection open access. High-quality MARC records Usage data: We are working to ensure COUNTER compliance 2 year membership fee waiver The right to nominate and vote for members of a Library Steering Committee and a Collections Committee
  • 21. Pilot Timeline KU Collection Pledging Period October 2013 31 January 2014 Decision on Unlatching Early February 2014 If decision is yes, calculate final unlatching fee for libraries Early February 2014 Advise libraries and publishers of pledging result Mid February 2014 Invoices issued to libraries Mid February 2014 Titles become available via OAPEN Immediate upon publication Publishers paid by KU After books have been unlatched and libraries have paid
  • 22. Next Steps: 2014 Review results Develop library role in governance Repeat the cycle again with more books, more publishers (signing up now!) single subject packages and individual title options Continue recruiting more libraries to lower costs further KU South: an exploration of ways in which KU might work with publishers in developing country markets