Content producers can vary from academic scholars, to people you see on the street. Whenever something is uploaded online, such as an article, in many cases these have ‘open access’, in other words they are free for everyone to see, and re use. This video sums up open access in a simple, informative way.
With the exception of certain published works, which usually have fees attached to them, content posted online is slowly starting to become freely available, because of ‘digitization’ (Shockey and Eisen 2012). This can have many advantages and disadvantages. I have summarised a few of these in a diagram shown below.
Many people, including publishers, will benefit from the discussion surrounding their work through open access online. It’s surely a huge step in the right direction for anyone wishing to develop their content further online. Technological advances have also allowed for many in developing countries to become accustomed to research. As Wiley et al (2012) state, “we have now been given the ability to achieve the amount of education we desire – online, it is now available at almost no cost whatsoever”. Students within the realms of higher education, like myself, are usually able to access online content with no qualms when writing. The basis of research itself is also becoming dependent on the availability online – when conducting a fresh study based on previous research, having the key to this information is vital.
However, many disadvantages are apparent.
Worlock (2004) argues many people do not believe open access is “economically sustainable, and if relied upon, could damage the market”, because publishing businesses “may experience difficulties due to reduced revenues”. Another issue of open access online is that some disciplines, such as science, are barely even ‘open’. Many vital texts are excluded from the availability of free content online, making it difficult for researchers and students alike. Finally, due to the nature of the internet, work can be uploaded onto the internet with ease, claiming it’s true . The effects of this can be harmful on students or researchers. Unfortunately, it’s impractical for us to judge the quality of hundreds of thousands of pieces of material. This is possibly an adjustment for the future – stepping up the quality control measures by introducing specific checks.
To conclude, there are many positives of open access content online – by getting work out into the domain of the internet, it can be passed on from person to person, increasing your reputation in your specific field. It will be interesting to see how this issue develops further in the future.
A wordcloud I created summarising key terms surrounding online content
400 words excluding quotations
- Wiley, Soares, and Green. “Dramatically Bringing Down The Cost Of Education With OER”. N.p., 2012. Web. 5 Dec. 2016.
- Worlock,. “Nature Web Focus: Access To The Literature: The Debate Continues”. Nature.com. N.p., 2004. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.
- Youtube,. Open Access Explained. 2012. Web. 5 Dec. 2016.