Brill Brill

Leiden (NL) / Boston (MA) – 23 June 2014

IFLA and Brill are pleased to announce that Knowledge Unlatched, from the United Kingdom, has been selected as this year’s winner of the IFLA/Brill Open Access Award. 

The IFLA/Brill Open Access Award was created in 2013 for initiatives in the area of open access monograph publishing. This year the jury unanimously has chosen Knowledge Unlatched (United Kingdom) as the most outstanding and game-changing initiative in the field.

Knowledge Unlatched (KU) was established with the goal of ‘creating a sustainable route to Open Access (OA) for specialist scholarly books.’ The basic concept is to create an online platform where the publisher offers a forthcoming book for open access provided the publication costs are met. As soon as enough interested libraries sign up to contribute to these costs, the book is ‘unlatched’ and becomes publicly accessible.

To test the concept, in 2013 KU selected 28 books from 13 scholarly publishers to take part in the Pilot Collection. To unlatch this collection, KU sought support from a minimum of 200 libraries from around the world. In the end, 297 signed up, which, earlier this year, made the collection publicly accessible.

The jury of the IFLA/Brill award is deeply impressed with the simplicity and elegance of the original concept, with the daring scope of the project, bringing together libraries, publishers and other organizations from around the world, and with the highly successful outcome of the pilot phase that tested the concept.

IFLA and Brill are honored to congratulate Knowledge Unlatched on the award. We look forward to handing over the award at the occasion of the IFLA World Library and Information Congress to be held in Lyon (France), August 2014.

IFLA and Brill would also like to thank all other applicants. Once again, the breadth and the quality of the various proposals signified the promising developments in the world of open access monograph publishing.

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About IFLA (

IFLA: The trusted global voice of the library and information profession

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. IFLA is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with over 1400 members in 150 countries.

Guided by our Strategic Plan 2010-2015 and Key Initiatives, we work to improve access to information and cultural heritage resources for the global community in this rapidly changing digital and print environment

About Brill (
Founded in 1683 in Leiden, the Netherlands, Brill is a leading international academic publisher in 20 main subject areas, including Middle East and Islamic Studies, Asian Studies, Classical Studies, History, Biblical and Religious Studies, Language & Linguistics, Biology, and International Law, among others. With offices in Leiden and Boston, Brill today publishes 200 journals and around 700 new books and reference works each year, available in both print and electronic form. Brill also markets a large number of primary source research collections and databases. The company’s key customers are academic and research institutions, libraries, and scholars. Brill is a publicly traded company and is listed on Euronext Amsterdam NV.