Eleven acquisitions librarians agreed to select the 78 titles offered in this round out of 155 titles submitted by 26 publishers. You may wonder what criteria they were using, and how they felt about the undertaking.
They were given a very broad brief. We said that we expected the quality to be high (and they were not disappointed). So then, how to whittle down the list? We asked them to consider how broadly based the readership might be. Since we're asking libraries from around the world to support KU we wanted to be sure that however niche a book might be there would be interested readers all over the world. This was a key feature of the Pilot with downloads in nearly 170 countries! We want to see similar patterns going forward.
So, I told the librarians that they were proxies for the whole world! This meant they were 'acquiring' not only in the name of their institutions but indeed for the whole world (well, we still need to reach out to around another 30 or so countries).
We were hoping, but not insisting, that they would find interesting books from all of the publishers that submitted titles. These publishers are serious about making Open Access work. We'll be inviting more publishers in the next round and we hope librarians will suggest the ones they want to see participating.
The selections were not easy to make. Some said that they wanted to include all 155 titles, so high was the quality. Well, we're scaling up step by step - and we hope to be offering more excellent titles in 2016 and beyond.
The pledging period to unlatch this second collection is now open and will run until 31 January 2016. The Title List can be found here and pledges can be registered here. A list of the acquisitions librarians who curated the collection can be found here. We hope that your institution will want to support Open Access by pledging.