Author Experiences

Interviews with Knowledge Unlatched authors

James P. Wilper, author of Reconsidering the Emergence of the Gay Novel in English and German (Purdue University Press)

What were your hopes for your book, and do you think Open Access has played a role in achieving them?

I think all academics hope that their work will make a significant as well as lasting impact on their field of study. I know from my own experience that there is so much to read and scholars are under immense pressure, especially with regards to time, and therefore having immediate access to research in digital form is crucial to the impact which we all hope that our research will have. Open Access has enabled my work to have this reach and impact.

Do you think that making your book available on an OA licence has increased its reach and impact? Have you seen any concrete indications of this?

I have seen concrete indications that making my monograph available on an OA licence has increased its reach and impact. The periodic email notifications that I receive tell me how often my monograph has been downloaded and there has been marked interest on social media.

What other benefits have you seen from participating in Knowledge Unlatched?

I derive a great deal of satisfaction being a part of an endeavour which strives to make academic research more accessible and widely available.

How have you been promoting your OA book?

My efforts have primarily been confined to promotion through my social media presence and word of mouth, i.e. recommendations to students and other academics.

Has your opinion about OA in general changed since your book was published through the Knowledge Unlatched collection? If so, how?

No, my opinion has not changed about OA in general because I was enthusiastic about my participation from the start and since then nothing has dampened this enthusiasm.

What do your friends/colleagues think about your decision to allow your book to be made available for free under a CC licence? Has their opinion changed following publication through Knowledge Unlatched?

The colleagues with whom I have discussed making my monograph available for free under a CC licence are other early career scholars who, like me, see this as the future of academic publishing.

James P. Wilper teaches literature at the University of Westminster, UK.

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