Interview with KU Pilot Author Anke Timmermann


Knowledge Unlatched asked authors who took part in the KU Pilot about their experiences of Open Access and the KU approach.  

Here is the third interview with Anke Timmermann, author of Verse and Transmutation (Brill).


What were your hopes for your book, and do you think Open Access has played a role in achieving them?

I hoped to reach a wide audience with my book, including students, general readers and other groups who would not necessarily be inclined to buy a copy but would benefit from, or enjoy, reading the text. I know from emails and other responses that this goal was achieved.

Do you think that making your book available on an OA licence has increased its reach and impact? – Have you seen any concrete indications of this?

I have certainly observed an impact. Both the fact that my work is openly accessible and the work itself have received an enthusiastic response from colleagues, international readers and the media – I have been asked to contribute to several small projects by individuals who came across my work primarily through the KU Pilot.

What other benefits have you seen from participating in the KU Pilot?

I feel grateful for having had the opportunity to demonstrate that Open Access can work, without a compromise on scholarly quality, cost (to author and readership) or accessibility. Consequently, my own expectations towards publications have changed. I hope that this model will spread further.

Open Access can work, without a compromise on scholarly quality, cost (to author and readership) or accessibility.
How have you been promoting your OA book?

Social media, a line in my email footer and word of mouth constitute the most direct ways in which I have been promoting my book; and there was some additional benefit from introductions at conferences with special emphasis on the accessibility of my work.

Has your opinion about OA in general changed since your book was published through the Knowledge Unlatched Pilot? If so, how?

No. My positive expectations were confirmed.

What do your friends/colleagues now think about your decision to allow your book to be made available for free under a CC licence? Has their opinion changed following publication through Knowledge Unlatched?

Some who were initially sceptical about the model have complimented it since the book was released. Many have expressed the wish to participate in the scheme in the future, as authors.


An alumna of the University of Cambridge and historian of alchemy, Anke Timmermann completed her PhD in History and Philosophy of Science in 2007. She has since worked and published on the connections between alchemy and medicine, on collections’ histories, in curatorial tasks and the digital humanities.


Read our pre-Pilot author interviews in the Featured Authors section.

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