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Wellcome Library promotes open access in humanities

The Wellcome Library has announced that it will take part in Knowledge Unlatched, a pilot project for open access in the humanities and social sciences.

The project aims to provide an alternative way to make books freely available, in addition to open access paid for by the funder or author of the work. In Knowledge Unlatched, participating libraries share a fixed fee that “unlatches” a book, making it available through a creative commons license. The work would then be accessible as a downloadable PDF on the online library and publication platform OAPEN.

The idea behind the project is that with the cost of each book being fixed, the more libraries that sign up, the lower the cost borne by each library. The fee would be based on the basic cost of publishing a book, with the idea that publishers would be willing to agree to the plan if they can be sure they will not lose money on a book by making it open access. 

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