. . .
– Sincerely, a student… –
The pains of a student: Sourcing for information only to find out you need to pay for it. Buying the resource and finding out that it doesn’t contain the information you need.
If open access(OA) was available, people would have access to information that could literally improve their lives. Farmers will be able to increase their crop yield and students would be able to obtain valuable information to help you with your studies. Here’s a quote from Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
If you’re into business, you might wonder… how can OA publishers make money if there is no paywall? There is no subscription fees and how can they cover the cost of publication? It might even discourage researchers from going OA! Worry not, OA helps to open the gates to a much wider audience. An increased number of readers may result in an increased number of citations for the author.
When more people know about the author, it will lead to an increased viewership to your site. Remember when we talked about digital footprints? Everything you post, everything you do has commercial value to companies or someone. Marketers especially love such information and can easily cater advertisements that interest you. It’s a trade-off at the expense of your own information. Here’s an example of an open access publisher.
Indeed, quality might be affected as a result of OA. Some publishers have to cover cost and they do so by publishing more articles which may affect quality. But that doesn’t stop sites like Wikipedia. If you think about it, does money = quality? When you did your research, you may come across multiple authors talking about the same topic and criticizing one another. Quality is very subjective. But based on research on the number of citations, it shows that OA has an advantage in Physics publications.
OA also helps researchers in developing countries gain access to information and provide an opportunity for them to participate in international research committees.
Another issue for OA is the possible damage to peer reviews systems, diminishing the overall quality of scientific journal publishing. An example includes a hoax publication.
To conclude, there are pros and cons to OA. Some examples show the clear advantages of it benefiting developing countries while some disadvantages show a lack in quality or peer review. As we shift towards a digital age, information is everywhere and easily available. Even big corporations like Facebook is embracing OA as shown in the following video. So what is your take on OA?
 Piled Higher and Deeper (2012, 4:30) – Open Access Explained!
 xpatnation.co (2014) – Zuckerberg spreading the knowledge economy
 edanzediting.com (2013) – Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access
 webroot.com (n.d.) – How Do Free Websites Make Money?
 eprints.soton.ac.uk (2004) – Comparing the Impact of Open Access (OA) vs. Non-OA Articles in the Same Journals
 scholarlyoa.com (2014) – Bogus Journal Accepts Profanity-Laced Anti-Spam Paper
xpatnation.co (2014) – http://xpatnation.co/zuckerberg-spreading-the-knowledge-economy/#.J73Z26h9H
Internet.org (2013) – Making the Internet Affordable
vocativ.com (2015) – http://www.vocativ.com/
eprints.soton.ac.uk (2004) – Comparing the Impact of Open Access (OA) vs. Non-OA Articles in the Same Journals
scholarlyoa.com (2014) – Bogus Journal Accepts Profanity-Laced Anti-Spam Paper