Topic 5 Reflection

What I learnt this week-2.png

Above is a quick summary of what I learnt this week. This week’s topic was talking about open access and I found this topic especially challenging. As a student, I require access to a wide variety of material, but only at certain points in the year. I would ideally like to be able to access what I need when I need it for free. However, after reading others takes on the topic, there is so much more to take into account.

Alice’s blog post focused on the advantages and disadvantages of open access and concluded that she felt the advantages of open access outweighed the disadvantages. I asked Alice if she felt content providers should be rewarded more for their efforts. The main reason being is that I spoke about paywalls and I feel this is the best solution for students such as myself. It offers a compromise, where there is a limit to what you can use a month before you pay for any more content that you use.

Tiffany’s post this week was really interesting, I loved how she incorporated the idea of YouTube into her post. Everyone uses YouTube and everyone just expects to be able to see it all for free. She also offers the question, is it ethical to determine who has the right to knowledge by placing extortionate monetary barriers? I feel this is a great question to ask, personally I would have to say although content producers spend a great majority of their time researching and writing papers I feel as though everyone should have access to these papers.

Overall, this topic was difficult as there is a lot to take into account, but, it was also difficult to balance the posts this week with other assignments. I look forward to writing my final post with the freedom of the Christmas holidays.


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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.

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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).