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In our modern age, almost all of us have a smartphone which has internet access. This would mean that technology has enabled us to have almost instant access to many information online for free. But have we ever thought of the fact on open access? Open access is defined as in short “unrestricted, online access to peer reviewed and published scholarly research papers”. So what are some pros and cons of open access?
The first advantage of open access would be that it increase visibility of one’s own work. Depending on the perspective, publishers would get to increase their visibility and hence which could lead to more citations being done. As most of us know, online citations are easier and more frequently used than non-open access journals. Also, from the tax payers perspective, they get to to see where the money from the funded research goes to.
The second advantage would be that all these free information would lead to the increase in knowledge. As quoted by Hal Varian, Google, chief economist “The smartest person in the world could well be behind a plow in China or India. Providing universal access to information will allow such people to realize their full potential, providing benefits to the entire world.” With help of these open access publications, people like myself and many other students have an easier time citing online research articles and publications for our coursework and assessments. Also by doing so, we increase our knowledge.
The third advantage would be that even in the developing countries, educational institutions and organisations would be able to get a copy of these open access publication as long they have internet access, which would help them in their learning as well. If not for open access, they might not access to publications as it might be too costly, or that they would only have a few publications available.
The last advantage would be that open access publications get published faster and reach a wider range of audience compared to non-open access publications. Open access publications do not have to go through a long process before they are available to everyone.
The first con would be that when it comes to maybe more serious work, people would prefer non-open access journals as quality Open Access journals do not yet have the same established reputation as traditional journals. Hence, even though open access journals are easier to access, some might still prefer the traditional.
The last con would be that open access journals is not really as cheap as many people might think it is. Compared to the current costs of licences, it might be almost the same and hence, may be a costly affair as after all, it is free for all to access online.
Even though there are more pros than cons, it would be vital that one should consider the cons as well before deciding it they want to make their work an open access.
Advantages and disadvantages of Open Access. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2015, from https://www.tue.nl/en/university/library/education-research-support/scientific-publishing/open-access-coach/general-information-news/pros-and-cons-of-open-access/
Biblioteksdirektion. (2008, 20 February). Making your research results Open Access [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8qUL_nhKR0
The Daily Galaxy –Great Discoveries Channel: Sci, Space, Tech. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/02/-does-google-make-us-smarter-new-research-says-yes.html