Taylor & Francis, Knowledge Unlatched: More Open Access

In News by Porter Anderson

The UK-based Taylor & Francis again will work with Germany’s Knowledge Unlatched to offer more academic titles open-access.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Jaco Blund

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

5o Titles To Be Converted to Open Access in 2023
Recent news from academic publishing includes an announcement that Taylor & Francis will convert more than 50 book titles to open access this year.

It’s doing this with the Berlin-based, Wiley-owned Knowledge Unlatched, another company well known to Publishing Perspectives readers.

The books chosen for the conversion include content, Taylor & Francis says, in the humanities and social science disciplines as well as climate change, global health, and gender studies.

Knowledge Unlatched, of course, uses a crowdfunding model, making it possible for research libraries in many parts of the world to support the publication costs of new ebooks and improve the level of access to such materials for new research and education.

Taylor & Francis actually has had a relationship with Knowledge Unlatched since 2016, and more than 100 books have been published, Taylor & Francis says, in open-access at no cost to those books’ authors.

In its media messaging, Taylor & Francis—based in Milton Park, Oxfordshire—reports that some of its already-open-access titles address issues including “artificial intelligence,” terrorism, and social media, as well as environmental policy, pandemics, migration, human rights, and “fake news.”

The titles selected to convert this year are focused, the publisher says, on supporting disciplines and regions “where there’s otherwise limited funding or traditional open-access models. “This includes long-standing subject collections within African studies, providing an innovative publishing solution for Africa-based scholars.

Two African Studies titles recently published open access under the program include The South African Response to COVID-19 (2023, edited by Pieter Fourie and Guy Lamb) and Nigeria’s Third-Generation Literature (2023, content and form by Ode Ogede).

Nicola Parkin

In a prepared statement on today’s news of the 50 books being newly moved to open access with Knowledge Unlatched, Taylor’s director of books and editorial services Nicola Parkin is quoted, saying, “Taylor & Francis has one of the largest portfolios of open-access books, and we’re delighted that the latest Knowledge Unlatched pledging round will see more than 50 titles added to that list.

“We believe that open access is the most effective way to amplify the research that fosters human progress. That’s why our Knowledge Unlatched partnership, which prioritizes research on some of the key challenges faced by our societies and our planet, is so important.”

Neil Christensen

And at Taylor & Francis, Neil Christensen, who heads up publisher relations at Knowledge Unlatched, praises the “high-quality books that Taylor & Francis and their authors commit to this collective-action model for equitable open access that Knowledge Unlatched brokers.

“Made possible by the support of hundreds of libraries, the Knowledge Unlatched model has made more than 4,000 scholarly books open access in the past 10 years and counting.

“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.”

Christensen reports that details about pledging support for Knowledge Unlatched’s 2024 “collections” sh0uld be announced in the second week of this month on the Knowledge Unlatched site here.

Taylor & Francis is a Global Certified Accessible publisher, and reports that it has achieved carbon-neutral certification for its operations and print publications in accordance with the CarbonNeutral protocol.

More from Publishing Perspectives on academic and scholarly publishing is here, more from us on Knowledge Unlatched is here, more on Taylor & Francis 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.com, 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.