Imagine writing an essay and having to pay every time to access a journal article or information? Imagine having to pay for it prior to finding out whether it’s relevant or will be used in your essay? One way forward is Open Access
Open Access may seem as a hard term to get around but it simply means content that is “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions” (Suber, 2015). It is a broad academic movements that is trying to ensure and free and open online access to academic information (Open.nl, 2016). Open Access is trying to remove price barriers to promote research development.
Below is a quick video guide to Open Access. I found this video particularly useful to understand what it meant and how it can affect different people.
Open Access Information host a range of advantage and disadvantages to different people. The reader for example has access widely available information for free and on the other side the author can get their work published easily around the globe. The piktochart covers more points (my first piktochart!).
In 2003 the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) was put forward to step closer to an Open Access World. As of 2016, there have been over 500 signatories. The Declaration outlines two main ways of achieving this:
1. Golden Route
This route is to publish via publisher platforms. It is known as the paid route as costs of publishing are covered that either are by author, institution or academic funding. However, primarily its publishers like Wiley offering servers space to publish article, without access rights or copyright. According to the Finch Report (June, 2012) this is the most sustainable route in the long term as publishing is subjected to peer reviewing and made fully available on an open access journal or website (JISC, 2015)
2. Green Route
This route makes academic pieces available through a repository, which is a public accessible database managed by a research organisation. There is not much fee involved and articles are peer-reviewed (Jisc, 2015)
Overall there are many benefits and costs related to why there should and shouldn’t be Open Access. Personally I think that everyone should have the right to access scientific knowledge, this helps to improve education and bridge the development gap across demography.
Anon, (2003). Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. [online] Available at: https://openaccess.mpg.de/Berlin-Declaration [Accessed 7 May 2016].
Jacobs, N. (2013). Gold and green routes to open access | Jisc. [online] Jisc. Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/gold-and-green-open-access [Accessed 7 May 2016].
Openaccess.nl. (2016). What is open access?. [online] Available at: http://www.openaccess.nl/en/what-is-open-access [Accessed 7 May 2016].
Suber, P. (2015). Peter Suber, Open Access Overview (definition, introduction). [online] Legacy.earlham.edu. Available at: http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm [Accessed 7 May 2016].
The Drum. (2016). 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests. [online] Available at: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/04/12/90-online-content-be-held-behind-paywalls-three-years-media-company-survey-suggests [Accessed 9 May 2016].
Tue.nl. (2016). Open Access Coach. [online] Available at: https://www.tue.nl/en/university/library/education-research-support/scientific-publishing/open-access-coach/general-information-news/ [Accessed 7 May 2016].