May 18, 2022

Knowledge Unlatched Presents Open Access Heroes 2021 (Books, Publishers, Countries Seeing Most OA Usage)

From KU:

Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the international initiative for Open Access (OA), is pleased to announce OA Heroes 2021, which highlights the countries, institutions, publishers, disciplines, and authors seeing the most usage of scholarly titles made OA through KU. The number of total interactions (including downloads and views) for KU titles has grown year on year by 20 percent and now stands at ten million. On average, each title gets 2,200 user interactions.

Over 2,000 books have been published OA to date owing to KU’s initiatives, and this number will grow to 2,700 titles by the end of 2021. It is also worth noting that nearly 6,500 institutions worldwide used KU books last year. The most popular discipline was English Language and Literature, with almost 1.5 million interactions.



The countries that continue to see the highest usage of OA books include the United States (33 percent), the United Kingdom (9.5 percent), Germany (8.5 percent), India (4 percent), and Canada (4 percent), while the academic institutions with the most user interactions include King’s College, University of Toronto, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, and New York University.


The book with the most interactions in 2020 was Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds (MIT Press), with nearly 55,000 interactions, followed by William A. Pelz’s A People’s History of Modern Europe (Pluto Press) and Heike Paul’s The Myths That Made America (transcript), with nearly 42,000 and 33,000 interactions, respectively.

This year’s OA usage assessment results are based on the data collected from several hosting platforms, including OAPEN, JSTOR, Project MUSE, and the Open Research Library.

Direct to Complete Announcement

Direct to Data via KU Infographic

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.