On 14th June, Research England announced the award of a £2.2 million grant to the COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) project, which is designed to build much-needed community-controlled, open systems and infrastructures that will develop and strengthen open access book publishing. As a founder member of ScholarLed, one of the COPIM partners, we will be taking a key role in this project and our co-Director Rupert Gatti will be leading work packages on the dissemination and archiving of open access scholarly books. (For more details about the COPIM project and the aims of the various interlinked work packages, see the ScholarLed statement released on 17th June.)
On 16 May 2019, Knowledge Unlatched announced the beta launch of a new hosting platform for Open Access books, the Open Research Library (ORL). Our books are a prominent part of this nascent project, both on the website and in the marketing associated with the launch, and this, together with Knowledge Unlatched’s claim that they are ‘working with publishers and libraries worldwide’, might give the impression that we are actively participating in and endorsing the platform. However this is not the case: we were not informed or consulted about this project at any stage; we were not told that our books would feature on this platform; and we do not support ORL. In fact we have grave concerns about its approach and business model, and those of Knowledge Unlatched (KU), which we will set out here.