Open access is scientific and technological information that is open for the world to read, access, and build on. They are split into two components: ‘free to read’ meaning there’s no pay wall, and ‘free to re-use’ meaning users who have access to the information are able to use new tools to build on top and conduct further research. Journals have long changed from publishing findings through printing and the process of getting it checked over by several people. This is due to developing technology resulting in digitisation, and the price increase of subscriptions. This video expands and gives more detail to what open access is.
If a content producer has open access to their work then they are able to reach bigger audiences, those who perhaps aren’t able to afford to pay publications costs. Open access allows their information to be cited by many and therefore building their reputation and legitimacy. Resources which are made available to the public are incredibly beneficial to the education sector. Not only do the costs of supplying students information get brought down considerably, the journals and articles are able to enhance classroom experiences.
Teachers from all levels of education need access to journals to teach their students to a high standard level but fail to do so without having to pay for the publications. University textbooks have increased four times the rate of inflation since 1994 (Wiley et al., 2012). As a result of this, the less wealthy countries (low and middle income) struggle to provide the necessary resources for students.
However, there are downsides to having open access made available to everyone. The content producer has to either pay for the publication fees or find a sponsor or company to pay it for them. Some people say open access doesn’t allow for investment in technology because media companies aren’t receiving the high revenues they need. A 2013 article said 90% of online content was likely to be behind a paywall in the future and there would be a 27% increase in profit margin for media companies in the next 3 years.
As we are 3 years down the line we can take a look at the stats and figures to see how they compare. Currently, the UK publishing industry grows to £4.4bn – £1.1bn more than 2013. This may be because “there remains a special place in the consumer’s heart for the aesthetic pleasure that printed books can bring.” (Knight, 2016) This leads to the idea open access journals do not have the same reputation as classic tradition journals because people trust printed books that have been reviewed before being printed.
December 12, 2016 at 3:28 pm
I enjoyed reading your post however, I have come up with a few quick questions?
Firstly, do you think there is a different way in which content providers can raise money, such as advertising?
The article linked below talks about how a law firm use sponsored adverts to bring in funds which in turn allows them to provide their content for free which increased their user traffic by 26,000 visitors within a month.
I would also question whether you feel that the availability of resources may decrease the number of those paying for higher education?
According to research, the number of students studying with the Open University fell by over 20% between 2009 and 2013. This is supposedly due to the OU investing heavily in free to use online resources which has reduced the need for students to study to gain access to these resources.
December 14, 2016 at 11:07 am
This blog is well referenced and the content you created was eye-catching and engaging. I was unaware of how 90% of the internet will “be behind a pay wall in the future”. After thinking about this statement, it is actually not surprising to me as why would organisations allow you to get something for free online instead of making you pay for a physical copy.
I liked how you related this topic and the previous topic by discussing “less wealthy countries not being able to afford educational resources”. In 2015, Martin Shkreli increased the price of a lifesaving drug. This was met by public outcry. Do you think that as education and medicine are both vital, the same outcry should occur when discussing the price of textbooks?
Overall, this post was informative and allowed me to explore areas I missed in my own post. I look forward to reading more.
The New York Times (2015), Online Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/business/a-huge-overnight-increase-in-a-drugs-price-raises-protests.html?_r=0