What is Open Access?
Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of information coupled with the rights to use these information fully in the digital environment. Open Access gives anyone the opportunity to use these information; for a greater good and turn these ideas into breakthroughs in life. Content producers are the ones who produce these contents and share these contents online.
Open Access is a life-saver. As a student myself, I feel fortunate to be able to freely access contents online for my projects/school work. Open access resources allows me to boost my learning, even during times outside of class. Traditionally, resources are not available due to the costs and use restrictions. People had to buy content to be able to use/apply them in their own research report/work. However, now with the Internet and the introduction of Open Access, it allows content to be shared with a worldwide audience.
Let me briefly list down the 3 basic types of Open Access.
Types of Open Access
- Green. Refers to self-archiving generally of the pre or post-print in repositories
- Gold. Refers to articles in fully accessible open access journals
- Hybrid. Some times called Paid Open Access, refers to subscription journals with open access to individual articles usually when a fee is paid to the publisher or journal by the author, the author’s organization, or the research funder.
Pros and Cons of Open Access
Unethical issues such as the sale of an Open Access article without gaining the permission of the author may occur. An incident that happened was that the author of a paid-for, ‘hybrid’ open access article published in 2009, found that it was wrongly on sale at a Springer website. The author went on to pay for the copy on Springer and found out that it had exactly the same content.
A complaint has been lodged towards Springer and they have thus changed the status of the article and stopped charging for it.
This incident made me think. How many incidents like this have happened that we weren’t aware of? More counter measures need to be taken.
Ultimately, I feel that the pros outweighs the cons. The greatest benefit of OA to me is that it enables the work produced by the author to spread widely for the cause of education and for the future of the world. Most research is funded anyway.
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Geib, A. (2013). Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access. [Blog] edanzediting. Available at: https://www.edanzediting.com/blogs/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-open-access [Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].
Tue.nl. (n.d.). Advantages and disadvantages of Open Access. [online] Available at: https://www.tue.nl/en/university/library/education-research-support/scientific-publishing/open-access-coach/basic-concepts-and-background/pros-and-cons-of-open-access/#top [Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].
Research.library.gsu.edu. (n.d.). GSU Library Research Guides: Open Access: Types of OA. [online] Available at: http://research.library.gsu.edu/c.php?g=115588&p=754380 [Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].
Ross Mounce. (2015). Springer caught red-handed selling access to an Open Access article. [online] Available at: http://rossmounce.co.uk/2015/04/27/springer-caught-red-handed-selling-access-to-open-access-article/ [Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].
Pfaulibrary, (2014). Open Access. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B579LlMi0Q4 [Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].