The KU model concentrates on making monographs Open Access at lower prices than libraries would pay through traditional acquisition processes. Since libraries can often use existing acquisition funds for the many titles they would normally buy this approach offers a way to transition expenditures in support of Open Access. And they gain the added benefit that their readers have unrestrained access to these titles from wherever they are without having to even sign in.
Publishers and authors use Creative Commons licences, which means that these monographs are not just ‘free to read’ but are truly Open Access and available to download, hosted on OAPEN and HathiTrust’s platforms.
All books offered to libraries via KU have undergone a peer review and the normal editorial selection processes, and would be published for sale. These titles were then reviewed by the KU Title Selection Committee, made up of librarians around the world, who shortlisted around 50% of the most important works that they expected to be of greatest interest to the largest number of libraries.
Libraries who participate in KU achieve a global active role in creating a modern, efficient and cost-saving sustainable route to OA for hundreds of Humanities and Social Sciences monographs as well as journals.