Knowledge Unlatched gets German branch

Knowledge Unlatched gets German branch

Sven Fund, previously c.e.o. of De Gruyter, will head a new German branch of Knowledge Unlatched, the Open Access project for humanities and social science books established by publisher Frances Pinter.

The new German operation is intended to enable Knowledge Unlatched "to greatly improve its technology base and global reach", KU said.

Ralf Schimmer, head of scientific information provision at the Max Planck Digital Library, will join the German board, as will Pinter and Lucy Montgomery, director of the centre for culture and technology at Curtin University, Australia. Meanwhile Fund will join the London-based KU board, alongside Charles Watkinson, associate university library for publishing and director of the University of Michigan Press.

The not-for-profit Knowledge Unlatched scheme brings libraries and publishers together, on a global basis, to fund the publication of scholarly books and make them Open Access, with libraries pledging support for titles, giving publishers assurance that the costs of publishing the book will definitely be met without loss. The libraries benefit from lower purchase costs.

Pinter said the new development "allows for fresh investment and for an expanded programme". She added: "Working collaboratively with other OA initiatives, working with a broader range of content, and demonstrating the benefits to a wider group of institutions and research funders will bring greater strength to the OA proposition."

Meanwhile Montgomery is now acting as director of KU Research, a new arm to the project, set to develop new programmes to bring transparency to Open Access usage data.

Knowledge Unlatched moved into its second pilot phase last autumn, with much increased support from publishers.