Does Open Access benefit all stance?

What is Open Access?

Open-access literature is digital, online, free of charge, free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. It removes price barriers and permission barriers. Open Access is not limited to literature. It is also applicable for digital form like image, video, audio, or software. [1]

Advantages of Open Access for research articles:

  • Extremely efficient and affordable sharing will allow advancement in research. It also solve Researchers’ challenge of ‘availability’ and ‘accessibility’ of research outputs.
  • Seamless sharing of educational resources with the world. Give the students more than sufficient information to support their research or studies. The only barrier now is the internet.
  • Accessible and affordable education. More and more libraries are hitting a crisis point. Due to monopoly by big publisher like Elsevier that aims on profit making. Researchers did not write journal articles for financial reasons. They create to bring an advancement in their field that directly impact their careers. Direct access between researchers and libraries get rid the money that researchers usually have to pay to commercial publishers.
  • Allow teachers to engage and continuously improve their courses and textbook. There is no one textbook fits all. Open Access allow lecturers improve the quality of the education by collaborating and revising different sources.
  • Publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources. Citizens that usually pay in curriculum development and research done now can rip more benefit with less cost.

However, Open Access may not give the authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited (social media ethic issue) [2]. Moreover, there is a concern regarding the quality and sustainability of the publication.

Nonetheless, there is a growing support from researchers towards Open Access.

On the other hand, Open access isn’t applicable for media company. “The study, which claims to have included 2,700 high-end decision makers from companies internationally, found that 90 per cent of online content would likely be held behind a paywall in the coming years”. The Sun and The Telegraph is one of them. They start to introduce paywalls for those who want access to their articles or broadcast. Media buyers’ belief usage of paywalls will leverage advertisers, telegraph, and journalism. Subscription will bring a small dip of audiences. However, they will generate customer insight that could be used for their marketing effort. They also have greater opportunity to engage with the audiences. Paywalls also provide resources needed to generate a better quality content. Quality content should be sufficient to engage the readers as news/entertainment will always accessible somewhere else.

References:

[1] Peter Suber (2015) Open Access Overview (accessed 11 November 2015)

[2] Peter Suber (2004) SPARC Open Access Newsletter, Issue #77 (accessed 11 November 2015)

[3] David Wiley, Cable Green, and Louis Soares (2012) Dramatically Bringing Down the Cost of Education with OER (accessed 11 November 2015)

[4] Taylor & Francis Group (2014) Open access: researchers are positive but some uncertainty still remains (accessed 11 November 2015)

[5] Stephen Lepitak (2013) Media Buyers’ Reaction: The Sun and The Telegraph to introduce paywalls (accessed 11 November 2015)

[6] Stephen Lepitak (2013) News International set to erect paywall for The Sun in second half of 2013 (accessed 11 November 2015)

[7] Ellen Wexler (2015) What a Mass Exodus at a Linguistics Journal Means for Scholarly Publishing (accessed 11 November 2015)