The mission of Knowledge Unlatched (KU) is to explore and change the current system for publishing scholarly books. By working together, libraries can create a sustainable route to open access for the scholarly monograph and secure long-term cost savings. Scholars, students, higher education institutions, and the public benefit. And authors benefit because their books are available to anyone in the world who has access to the internet (and access=citations=impact).
The University of Iowa Libraries is a charter member of KU, whereby we supported the publication of a pilot collection of 28 scholarly titles, published by a variety of established publishers. Since March (in merely 8 months), the books in the collection have been downloaded nearly 13,000 times, and readers in at least 139 countries have been accessing the titles via HathiTrust or OAPEN, trusted digital repositories that archive content in perpetuity.
Some additional, and amazing, statistics on the usage of these 28 titles:
- Total number of downloads: 12,763
- Mean average number of downloads per week: 1,064
- Mean average number of downloads per book/week: 40
- Mean average number of downloads=473 per book