Taylor & Francis Grant Open Access to Over Fifty Books
By Julia Fitzpatrick
The academic publisher Taylor & Francis has announced that over fifty of its books will become open access in the latest initiative coming from their partnership with the Berlin-based non-profit scheme Knowledge Unlatched.
Knowledge Unlatched was founded in 2013 and has been owned by Wiley since 2021. It operates under a crowdfunding model where research libraries across the world work together to support the publication costs of new e-books which are made available to anyone for free reading, downloading and sharing. Knowledge Unlatched works with over 670 libraries and over a hundred publishers. Since its creation, it has made more than 4000 books and fifty journals open access. As well as Taylor & Francis, its notable collaborators include Bergahn Books, University of California Press and EDP Sciences.
Taylor & Francis has been publishing open access journals since 2006 and open access books since 2013. Their partnership with Knowledge Unlatched began in 2016. Since then, they have published over a hundred open access books at no cost to their authors, on wide-ranging topics such as climate change, global health, artificial intelligence and social media. Titles include Tiffany Petricini’s Friendship and Technology: A Philosophical Approach to Computer Mediated Communication and Laura Scaife’s Social Networks as the New Frontier of Terrorism: #Terror.
The latest fifty books to have been made open access have been chosen from fields and regions which have traditionally limited funding for open access ventures, such as African Studies. Nicola Parkin, Director of Editorial Services at Taylor & Francis, pointed to the significance of the initiative: “We believe that open access is the most effective way to amplify the research that fosters human progress.” Neil Christensen, Head of Publisher Relations at Knowledge Unlatched, echoed her sentiments, saying that “Taylor & Francis, the authors, and the supporting libraries play a fundamental role in shaping the collective knowledge of our world – and often doing so in areas that suffer from systemic funding shortage.”
Knowledge Unlatched have also recently announced that they are aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of their ten-year anniversary. They have created seven specific collections focused on SDG1 (No Poverty), SDG3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), SDG5 (Gender Equality), SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG10 (Reduced Inequalities), SDG13 (Climate Action) and SDG16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions). In the worlds of Wiley’s Senior Director Dr Sven Fun, the new collections aims to “create a more equitable and fair society.”