Topic 5 – Open Access

Content providers spend a great amount of their time researching and writing papers. Although sometimes their work is funded by government bodies, they should also be rewarded for their efforts and have their work recognised.

Open Access is about making all scientific research available for anyone from anywhere in the world. Before I continue, below is a quick summary I have made.

I am sure almost all of you know the struggle of writing an essay, finding an article which would link perfectly, only to discover in order to view the whole article you are required to sign up and pay a membership fee.

Personally, as a student, my University life would be so much easier (and far cheaper) if all the resources I needed were available for free. However, I understand that for many content producers the information they are sharing is how they make a living, so this is not really an option. But, there seems little point in paying for textbooks or articles that will be used once and potentially never read again.

“Education is first and foremost an enterprise of sharing. “ 

Education has always been about the passing on of knowledge from one person to another. Whether this be in a school, online, or learning from each other in everyday life. Today more than ever we rely on people making their findings accessible. However, people in less economically developed countries are not as fortunate to have access to all this information, which can be especially damaging if the research could save a person’s life. It is essential that important research and findings are shared and the people who are introducing new ideas or concepts are rewarded accordingly.

One solution I found, which benefits content producers,  are paywalls, explained in the poster I made below.

Liam Mullins
makes a great point that “getting readers to pay for something they are used to getting for free is hard.” However, the Telegraph may have found a way around this using a paywall that limits viewers access to 20 articles per month. This decision allows a compromise between open access and restricted access which could work for everyone.

I believe there is a great need for open access in today’s society and I know I cannot afford to keep buying textbooks and articles for every different module I take. However, the idea of complete open access seems a little far-fetched and The Telegraphs concept of limiting articles before a cost is introduced would definitely benefit many people.

Word Count: 418

Featured image reference:

Available at: (Accessed: 7 December 2016).


David, W., Cable, G. and Louis, S. (2012) Dramatically bringing down the cost of education with OER: How open education resources unlock the door to free learning. Available at: (Accessed: 5 December 2016).

Dunn, D. (2013) Education finally ripe for radical innovation by social entrepreneurs. Available at: (Accessed: 6 December 2016).

Lepitak, S. (2016) Media buyers’ reaction: The sun and the telegraph to introduce paywalls. Available at: (Accessed: 5 December 2016).

Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics) (2012) Open access explained! Available at: (Accessed: 6 December 2016).

Video references:

Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics) (2012) Open access explained! Available at: (Accessed: 6 December 2016).

SPARC (2007) Open access – SPARC. Available at: (Accessed: 7 December 2016).

Poster references:

Lavin, S. (2015) The pros and cons of Paywall software in online publishing. Available at: (Accessed: 6 December 2016).

Techopedia (2016) What is Paywall? – definition from Techopedia. Available at: (Accessed: 5 December 2016).


6 thoughts on “Topic 5 – Open Access

  1. Hi Emma,

    I really liked your use of a slideshow, it was packed with information and a great way to cut down on words. I completely agree with your views on education, research depends on building on top of other people’s findings, if everyone had to start from scratch we would be no where. Sadly there are companies/individuals who don’t see the benefit in sharing their findings with the world, there are even some who take this opportunity to profit from the situation.

    I can’t imagine the costs academics must go through to create a fully researched paper, as a third year university student we have the luxury of “dismissing” papers with a paywall. I agree that a balance between open access and restricted access is the solution, as it prevents users abusing the free material but still offers an opportunity for revenue to be made, can you think of any others?



  2. Hi Emma,

    A really informative and intriguing post that links nicely with relevant content throughout. I agree with your view that content producers should be recognized for their work – a factor that ultimately underlies the basis of open access and is at the forefront of thought when producers upload work.

    You make a point about the producers being ‘rewarded’ – do you mean this in terms of monetry value? If so, is this something that all content producers desire? Or is simple recognition not enough for them? Could recognition from the correct people not lead to greater future reward?

    A great blog post


    • Hi Alice,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I think that most content producers at the least want their work recognised and cited. In terms of monetary value I think most content producers would like to be rewarded for their efforts in this way. Furthermore, I think especially in terms of papers, the amount of time people take to write them, they would expect some form of monetary reward.

      However, I am sure some people feel that recognition would be a reward in itself. I think it depends on the person and circumstance as everyone feels differently.

      What is your view on this matter?


      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Emma,

        I agree with you when you say it really does all boil down to context. The circumstances under which a producer is publishing work online vary significantly from one person to another regarding income, prestige within your field etc. It’s a tricky one and unless you are in that situation I feel it would be difficult to judge. However I wouldnt like to assume that all content producers would be adamant on a monetry reward, and visa versa.


        Liked by 1 person

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