UK’s Scholarly Work Accessed Over 5 Million Times Worldwide

photo of geographic distributions of downloads from UKnowledge
Geographic distributions of downloads from UKnowledge.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2018) Launched by University of Kentucky Libraries in December 2010 as a digital gateway to the research and scholarship from University of Kentucky, UKnowledge has blossomed into a resource that enables free worldwide access to UK’s scholarly outputs ranging from theses and dissertations to annotated virtual exhibits. It has recently reached a milestone with its contents downloaded over 5 million times. 

People who downloaded items from UKnowledge have expressed their appreciation via an online feedback form. For example, a researcher from The Laminitis Site in Britain wrote, “Fantastic to have access to quality research! We are a charity providing information about laminitis, EMS (equine metabolic syndrome) and PPID (Equine Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction). Open access to the latest research enables us to keep our information up to date and help horses with these conditions.” 

A student in Australia noted after accessing UKnowledge, “I have an article referenced in an assignment and if it weren't available, I wouldn't be able to adequately complete the relevant question.”

Meanwhile, an instructor from Indiana commented, “I am able to find specific research studies that I will use in a professional development seminar to 120 teachers.” 

“We are very pleased that UK Libraries has played an active role in fulfilling the university’s mission of improving people’s lives by providing free public access to scholarly publications,” said Mary Beth Thomson, senior associate dean of UK Libraries. 

Among the most downloaded items as of Jan. 23, 2018, are (calculation based on the average download counts per day since the item was posted online):

While InfoKat Discovery and search engines have made UKnowledge contents easily discoverable, UK Libraries has pursued other avenues to further increase the online visibility of the materials. For instance, UK participates in initiatives such as SHARE and Open Dissertations to make sure that people will be able to find UKnowledge contents in different indexing tools. Additionally, UK Libraries registers digital object identifiers for scholarly outputs from the university community. The identifiers eliminate the problem of broken links and ensure URL validity in citations. 

UKnowledge aims to serve as the online platform to extend the reach and maximize the impact of the research and scholarship from the UK community. If you would like to find out more about UKnowledge, contact UK Libraries at

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue