“Open Access is a growing international movement that uses the Internet to throw open the locked doors that once hid knowledge.”
Students like us are thankful for this movement. We are lucky to be in a learning environment where our schools provide us with databases of journals and articles for academic purposes. But what are we going to do if we are no longer students? Can we afford to pay in exchange for information? Look at these prices!
Even Universities are cutting subscriptions to lower costs (Api.ning.com, 2014), how are we as individuals going to afford it?
Thus, Open Access (OA) is our solution. We get free access to knowledge, we learn from researchers’ works and build on existing resources to explore further! As it’s not always about “us”, OA contributes to other aspects too!
Authors retrieve their copyrights from the hands of the publishers. They also gain readers and citation rates since articles are open! It builds on broader ways of disseminating helpful studies and allows integration from readers’ opinions to enhance the continuation of the authors’ studies. (Rice, 2013) Authors’ enthusiasm in their field of work may be spurred on to produce more works.
The chart below indicates the growth of Internet access to not only the World, but also to Developing nations throughout the years. However, Internet access is relatively useless to people if they cannot reach the right information they need. Especially in developing nations where healthcare infrastructure is a complication. Lack of access to health science resources hinders the healthcare practitioners’ learning and searching for answers to illnesses!
Of course, there are also downsides of OA. One of it is the proliferation of poor quality peer-reviewed journals. Wouldn’t this decelerate our speed to source for helpful, accurate information? An article I found online depicts this issue:
Another downside is the business model of OA where publishers collect fees from authors when their articles get published. The payer now becomes the author instead of subscribers or readers, often this fee is funded by universities, companies or government. Hence, if funding is reduced, authors may become discouraged. (Purvis, 2013) Also, one can abuse this model by easily setting up a journal to accept articles, then charging high fees when it’s published. (Rice, 2013) Naive authors may be exploited.
Overall, I think OA makes good use of the Internet to deliver and share information to people. Personally, open access would benefit me greatly in the future when I enter the workforce. I can still gain access to information which may be relevant and much needed for my work.
Till then! 🙂
Api.ning.com, (2014). [online] Available at: http://api.ning.com/files/i0L51jUXROwUXNZ97vNSlR8RnAFSIslKIIgHh3-DOQwejdCtzhkG3nkZnQTrfBMkP5IHD2n2Xl2cxwrMoloCzMRtLCf*wFud/We%20Support%20Open%20Access [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].
Bosch, S. and Henderson, K. (2014). Steps Down the Evolutionary Road | Periodicals Price Survey 2014. [online] Library Journal. Available at: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/04/publishing/steps-down-the-evolutionary-road-periodicals-price-survey-2014/#_ [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].
Hubbard, M. (2014). 6a0115713419e0970c01bb079c033d970d. [image] Available at: http://lmulibrary.typepad.com/lmu-library-news/2014/10/open-access-week.html [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), (2014). chart-1-3a-thumbnail. [image] Available at: http://www.itu.int/en/newsroom/PublishingImages/wtis14/chart-1-3a-thumbnail.jpg [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].
Purvis, A. (2013). Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access | edanz editing global. [online] Edanzediting.com. Available at: http://www.edanzediting.com/blog/advantages_and_disadvantages_open_access#.VIbeIzGUcxI [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].
Rice, C. (2013). Open access publishing hoax: what Science magazine got wrong. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2013/oct/04/science-hoax-peer-review-open-access [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].
Rice, C. (2013). Open access: four ways it could enhance academic freedom. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2013/apr/22/open-access-academic-freedom-publishing [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].
Shaw, C. (2013). Hundreds of open access journals accept fake science paper. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2013/oct/04/open-access-journals-fake-paper [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].