Boost for university libraries

Knowledge Unlatched has announced that the HEFCE will make grants to English universities which take part in a pilot scheme

Knowledge Unlatched (KU) has announced that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has agreed to make grants to universities in England that participate in the Knowledge Unlatched Pilot.

This grant contribution will be used to reduce the participation fee paid by university libraries in England by 50%.

David Sweeney, HEFCE’s Director for Research, Innovation and Skills, said: “I’m delighted to be able to support this exciting new model. We believe that the Pilot will play a vital part in helping to find solutions to the growing difficulties of publishing academic books in the humanities and social sciences. The lessons that we learn from this Pilot will be of prime importance in testing the readiness of the scholarly book publishing world to support the Open Access agenda.”

The financial backing of up to £50,000 from HEFCE will enable libraries in England to secure the benefits of participating in the KU Pilot. The grant will be administered by Jisc Collections.

Frances Pinter, Executive Director of KU, added: “The HEFCE grant is a major contribution to helping explore new ways of reaching Open Access for books through cooperation between libraries and publishers that will decrease costs to institutions while at the same time bring all the benefits of open access to the world.”

This grant will be available to higher education institutions in England who sign up to the KU Pilot Collection. The deadline for signing up is 31 January 2014.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England promotes and funds high quality, cost-effective teaching and research, meeting the diverse needs of students, the economy and society.

Jisc Collections supports the procurement of digital content for education and research in the UK. Jisc is managing the pledging process of the KU Pilot for UK participants.

Knowledge Unlatched is committed to changing the current business model for publishing to one with libraries sharing the costs of scholarly books. Knowledge Unlatched believes that by working together libraries and publishers can create a sustainable route to Open Access for scholarly books and secure long-term cost savings for their own institutions by sharing the costs of making HSS monographs available on a Creative Commons licence.

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