In Germany: Knowledge Unlatched Names Its 2023 ‘Open Access Heroes’

In News by Porter Anderson

Knowledge Unlatched’s report sees Germany following the United States in usage of open-access content in its ‘Open Access Heroes’ survey.

Library shelving in Jakarta, December 26, 2022. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Eki Lesmana

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Politics and International Studies in the Lead
In its 10th year, Berlin’s Knowledge Unlatched today (April 6) has announced its new list of “Open Access Heroes” for 2023—by which the company refers to countries, institutions, publishers, disciplines, and scholarly titles that are “seeing the most usage worldwide.”

The total user interactions for Knowledge Unlatched titles, including downloads and views, now stands at 21.3 million—a significant increase of 30 percent since last year’s KU Heroes announcement.

About 4,000 books have been published open-access to date through Knowledge Unlatched’s initiatives, and this number is expected to grow to 4,350 titles by the end of 2023, the company says.

In addition, nearly 6,500 institutions worldwide used Knowledge Unlatched books last year. Politics and international studies were the most popular subject, with more than 700,000 user interactions.

Sven Fund

Sven Fund, senior director with Wiley, in making today’s statement, says, “Open-access books are better books.

“The usage of the titles we unlatch continues to grow, and we are particularly pleased to see the notable jump in total user interactions.

“These numbers reaffirm the importance of unlatching open-access monographs and making them widely available for reading and research.”

Statistics on the ‘Heroes’

The country that continues to see the highest usage of open-access books remains the United States, with nearly 1.4 million interactions, followed by:

  • Germany (394,000+)
  • The United Kingdom (390,000+)
  • India (255,000)
  • Canada (160,000)

The top five institutions with the most user interactions in 2022 are all in the United Kingdom. The are:

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The University of Cambridge
  • The University of Exeter
  • University College London
  • The University of Bristol

As in previous years, open-access 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–the annual visual piece that comes with the “Heroes” announcement–presents the usage data in one place and can be downloaded from the Open Research Community site, and we’ll place it below, as well for you.

Image: Knowledge Unlatched

More from Publishing Perspectives on academic and scholarly publishing is here, more from us on Knowledge Unlatched is here, and more from us on open access is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.