Let’s start by exploring what open access actually is. The video below elaborates on open and closed access:
After watching this video, I believe that universities and colleges around the globe should provide access to academic journals not only for its students but for the general public.
Access to free online content/material could be beneficial to its users and even non-users e.g. if first-aid instructions for various types of injuries were published, not only the reader, but also people who aren’t aware about it will be positively affected by it. But sadly people often pay attention only on the effects to consumers and our society, disregarding how these free materials can influence the content producers.
Making contents/materials available online for free doesn’t benefit the producer, since they spend a huge amount of time and effort on creating something others will benefit from. Surely they should get something in return. By making their product become easily and freely accessible, producers “seemingly” give away the opportunity to make money and sometimes lose money since they have to pay for publishing costs.
Can you imagine what it would be like if you had to pay for all the online contents you use? We use the online content all the time without realising who created it – when or how? There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to a content producer/author of making their materials freely available online for the public.
The image above pinpoints a few benefits of open access. Open access provides the opportunity to interchange ideas all around the globe, specifically scientists who require exposure. It enables easier communication between researchers globally, fostering further development and innovation.
However, making content available free online may lack in quality control – the issue that is usually brought up in discussions on open access is the ‘predatory open access’. This describes unethical publishers, who lack acceptable peer-review. By paying their publication fee, their article will be published regardless of its scientific value and sometimes it doesn’t help the public.
I have strong views on open accesses publishing but that come from my own strong views on open data, I find it difficult to understand people who want to keep their data closed when it is being funded by public domain resources for the good of everybody.
Rita Pickler, Jane Noyes, Lin Perry, et al., Authors and readers beware the dark side of Open Access, Journal of Advanced Nursing [29.04.2015]