As information are available online, it is almost easy for everyone to access it. Spending on ‘traditional’ media such as newspapers and magazines has dropped almost 20% in the last six months, while spending on digital media has almost halved (Richard Wray, 2010)
Created by Julaina via Piktochart
The purpose of Open Access seeks to return scholarly publishing to its original purpose: to spread knowledge and allow that knowledge to be built upon (Righttosearch.org).
Advantages and Impact of Open Access:
Source via AOASG
Created by Julaina via Piktochart and Content via Right to research
For me, one of the relevant and beneficial aspect of Open Access is free learning also known as Open Educational Resources(OER). OER are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes (Creative Commons). Even Bill Gates is funding online University Open Access. Here are some examples of OER.
Having said that, there are disadvantages to Open Access.
Security and Privacy
When everything is made available and accessible online, Nation states are wary about rights and security (all the more so, given WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden). The worry for most would be about rights to privacy and commercial misuse of personal data. Researchers are concerned about the premature release of research data and the ethics of openness when information is collected with assurances of anonymity (Martin Hall, 2014).
Decrease in Profit
As we are transmitting from traditional media to digital media, there is an increase in people accessing materials online. A survey suggests 90% of online content will be held behind paywalls.This means it will help bring profit for media companies if paywalls are implemented as optimised content offers are key success factors for the future (Stephen Lepitak, 2013).
Copyrights and Plagiarism
As with most things you find on the Internet, it is easy for you to copy and share information without crediting the original author. It makes it difficult to trace back who the original author is if there is no citation on the original source. Just like what I’m doing now, every information accumulated needs to be cited if not it is deemed as an act of plagiarism.
Being a student, I believe that Open Access, especially OER, is relevant and vital. As we are required to do our own research, write reports and many others, it helps us acquire more information outside classroom premises for free. Just like what I am doing now, Blogging, it encourages me to do independent research with resources made available. Hence, I believe if we respect content producers and resources available online, I do not see it as a drawback for Open Access.
(Richard Wray, 2010) Available: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/apr/19/media-consumption-survey (Accessed on 15 November 2016)
Right to research: http://www.righttoresearch.org/learn/whyOA/index.shtml#Students (Accessed on 15 November 2016)
AOASG: https://aoasg.org.au/resources/benefits-of-open-access/ (Accessed on 15 November 2016)
Creative Commons: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/What_is_OER%3F (Accessed on 15 November 2016)
(Stephen Lepitak, 2013) Available: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/04/12/90-online-content-be-held-behind-paywalls-three-years-media-company-survey-suggests (Accessed on 15 November 2016)
(Sean Coughlan, 2012) Available: http://www.bbc.com/news/education-20393753 (Accessed on 15 November 2016)
Scoop it: http://www.scoop.it/t/open-access-and-copyright (Accessed on 15 November 2016)
(David Wiley, 2012) Available: http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED535639 (Accessed on 15 November 2016)