This presentation introduces Knowledge Unlatched: an ambitious attempt to create a globally coordinated, sustainable route to open access (OA) for book-length publications. Knowledge Unlatched is doing this by helping libraries from around the world to share the costs of making Humanities and Social Sciences monographs available on a Creative Commons license. During the project’s 2013 pilot, the London-based not-for-profit is working to secure participation from at least 200 libraries in order to unlatch a collection of 30 front-list titles from recognised scholarly publishers.
Libraries that take part in the pilot will share the payment of a single Title Fee to publishers in return for open access. As more libraries participate in the program, the lower the cost becomes for each library. Publishers have agreed to recognise print and ebook purchases made by libraries during the pilot as a contribution towards the Title Fee. As a result, an additional purchase of any of the titles offered in the collection will count towards securing OA. Knowledge Unlatched is a creative attempt to ensure that monograph spending secures the widest possible access to scholarly books. Although the project is still at an early stage, the model has the potential to dramatically improve access to knowledge and ideas contained in book-length scholarly publications.
About the Speaker
Dr Lucy Montgomery is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology and a Visiting Fellow at the Big Innovation Centre in London. She is also Research Director for Knowledge Unlatched, a not-for-profit organisation piloting a new approach to funding open access monographs. Her work explores the role of digital technology and intellectual property in business model innovation in the creative industries.
Dr Montgomery trained as a China specialist at the University of Adelaide, before going to complete a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies at Queensland University of Technology. She has a decade of experience as both a researcher and as a Project Manager, working on major international research projects. She is particularly interested in understanding the impact of transformative technological change on intellectual property and the growth of the creative economy. Her book, China’s Creative Industries: Copyright, Social Network Markets and the Business of Culture in a Digital Age is published by Edward Elgar.