Knowledge Unlatched Presents Open Access Heroes 2024 and Usage Increase of 20%

KU Open Access Heroes 2024 Poster Image

Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the international initiative for Open Access (OA), has announced OA Heroes 2024, which highlights the countries, institutions, publishers, disciplines, and scholarly titles that saw the most usage worldwide in the previous year. The total user interactions for KU titles (including downloads and views) now stand at 26 million—a significant increase of 20% since last year’s OA Heroes announcement.

Well over 4,000 books have been published OA to date owing to KU’s initiatives, and this number will reach 5,000 titles by the end of 2024.  In total, nearly 4.5 million users worldwide interacted with KU books last year. Business and Management Studies was the most popular subject, with nearly 600,000 user interactions, followed by Area Studies (nearly 550,000 interactions), Politics and International Studies (nearly 442,000 interactions), Modern Languages and Linguistics (over 438,0000 interactions), and Social Work and Social Policy (nearly 405,000 interactions).

“OA books are becoming more and more a standard in the social sciences and the humanities,” says Dr. Sven Fund, Wiley Senior Director. “Since KU’s inception in 2013, title volume and usage have grown every single year. This is a testament to publishers’ and librarians’ commitment to making research results more accessible around the world.”

KU books are used virtually all around the world. The country that continues to see the highest usage of OA books remains the United States, with nearly 1.2 million interactions, followed by Germany (nearly 380,000 interactions), the United Kingdom (nearly 375,000 interactions), India (over 200,000 interactions), Canada (nearly 143,000 interactions), and Australia (nearly 118,000 interactions). The top five institutions with the most user interactions in 2022 were five UK universities: the University College London, the University of Edinburgh, King’s College London, the University of Bristol, and the University of Cambridge.

The book with the most interactions in 2023 was transcript’s Myths that Made America (nearly 33,000 interactions), followed by Pluto Press’s A People’s History of Modern Europe (over 32,000 interactions), UCL’s Social Theory After the Internet: Media, Technology and Globalization (32,000 interactions), Verlag Barbara Budrich’s International Relations: A Self Study Guide to Theory (over 32,000 interactions), and the University of Georgia Press’ Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology (nearly 27,000 interactions).

As in previous years, OA usage assessment results are based on the data collected from several hosting platforms, including the Open Research Library, OAPEN, JSTOR, and Project MUSE. An infographic that presents the usage data in one place can be downloaded from the Open Research Community website.

For more information, email