The KU Pilot was the first collection of Humanities and Social Sciences books that KU unlatched as Open Access. The pledging period was in 2013 and books were unlatched from 2014 onwards. 

In October 2013, Knowledge Unlatched launched its Pilot Collection, intended to be a ‘proof of concept’ exercise to gauge the willingness of libraries and publishers to support a collective procurement approach to open access books.

The Pilot Collection consists of 28 new Literature, History, Politics and Media & Communication titles from the following scholarly publishers: Amsterdam University Press, Bloomsbury Academic, Brill Publishers, Cambridge University Press, De Gruyter, Duke University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Liverpool University Press, Manchester University Press, Purdue University Press, Rutgers University Press, Temple University Press and University of Michigan Press.

Just under 300 libraries from around the world agreed to support the Pilot Collection, therefore publishers were paid a pre-agreed fee ('Title Fee') in return for making the books available on a Creative Commons licence via OAPEN and HathiTrust immediately upon publication.

As more than the minimum number of 200 libraries signed up for the Pilot Collection, the cost per-library of supporting the collection was adjusted down from $1680 to $1195. This works out to an average of $43 per title whereby the target average was $60.

The geographic spread of the participating Pilot libraries was: 46% from North America, 26% from the UK and 28% from the rest of the world.

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