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Platform for open-access book discovery sparks debate

Image: h_pampel [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The launch of an online hosting platform intended to offer a route to all open-access books has been criticised by some who that say it could lead to commercial control of vital research infrastructure.

Knowledge Unlatched, a Berlin-based company that says on its website that it wants “a sustainable market where scholarly content is freely accessible for each and every reader”, launched its Open Research Library initiative on 16 May.

It said that the aim of the ORL was to address the problem that open-access books are difficult to find and use because they are made available in different ways and places. Academic book publishing is in a period of upheaval, with various solutions to managing the shift towards open access being tried out.

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