Once again, it has been an exciting few months for Knowledge Unlatched. Good news has been coming thick and fast and our team is continuing to grow.
We have made several key new appointments, including Leon Loberman, London-based Head of Operations and Technology and Shana Kimball, North America Lead for Knowledge Unlatched.
Head of Operations and Technology, Leon Loberman has taken on the challenging task of ensuring that technical systems and infrastructure are in place to support the 2013 first-stage pilot. He is also working to design systems and workflows capable of supporting the needs of libraries and publishers as the project scales. Leon has extensive experience in designing systems to support scholarly communication projects, most recently providing project management consultancy to Oxford University Press.
North America Lead, Shana Kimball, is based full time at the New York Public Library. Shana will be collaborating with a team that includes NYPL Director of Strategy, Micah May, Assistant Chief Librarian for Collection Development at NYPL, Denise Hibay and NYPL Electronic Resource Coordinator, Rebecca Federman, to support the development of the Knowledge Unlatched model and to secure the participation and engagement of libraries. Prior to joining Knowledge Unlatched, Shana was Head of Publishing Services, Outreach, and Strategic Development for Michigan Publishing.
Knowledge Unlatched is now working with eighteen publishers, including four out of the five largest UK university presses. The process of collating titles to be offered to libraries in the first 2013 pilot collection is well underway. We have also begun planning for the next stages of the project: scaling the number of libraries and titles, establishing community governance structures and ensuring that the KU model and workflows provide scholarly communities with a practical, cost effective route to Open Access books.
The process of engaging librarians in refining the Knowledge Unlatched model is continuing: in the US the American Association of Research Librarians is playing a key role in helping us to ensure that Knowledge Unlatched reflects the needs of the library community; in the UK a similar role is being played by JISC Collections. In Germany the Max Planck Society is hosting a one-day symposium for German librarians on Knowledge Unlatched, bringing together librarians from all over the country to discuss the challenges of Open Access books and the role that Knowledge Unlatched will play in helping to address them.
We are pleased to announce that we have been successful in securing a major grant from the British Library Trust. Knowledge Unlatched is the first organisation outside the British Library to receive major grant funding from this trust: a vote of confidence in the team and the pilot.
On June 19 the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and Knowledge Unlatched jointly hosted a one day workshop ‘Open Access and Scholarly Books’ in Cambridge, MA. The workshop brought together a select group of librarians, researchers and publishers to discuss the challenges of making scholarly books Open Access.
The event was intended to help shape a research agenda on Open Access and scholarly books and to identify practical routes forward for Open Access monographs. Issues covered included metrics for Open Access monographs, approaches to funding, the role of collective action, and the impact of Open Access mandates on books.
Frances Pinter has been appointed CEO of Manchester University Press. This is a part-time post, which she will take up on 1 August, and a fantastic opportunity for Frances to work with a university that is committed to innovative library/press collaboration. Frances will remain Executive Director for Knowledge Unlatched, which is now in a stronger position than any of us imagined possible when we began work on the initiative in earnest just a year ago. We look forward to benefiting from her continued contribution to solving the practical challenges of high-quality monograph publishing.
Finally, Queensland University of Technology has extended its support for Knowledge Unlatched, making it possible for Lucy Montgomery to remain a core member of the project team, based in our London office.