Topic 5: The Swings and Roundabouts of Open Access

This topic aims to look into ‘Open Access’, the advantages and disadvantages of being able to access various materials online freely.

I have been very adventurous this week and created a Prezi Presentation (click on the image below) highlighting the effects of ‘Open Access: Academic Journals’ and a PowToon describing open access in regards to Spotify and the music industry.

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 14.17.42

Millions of academic journals are published every year, as a student it is unlikely that I will be able to read my field’s most up to date and relevant articles. This is not only due to the vast number of journals published, but also the lack of access to the majority of these articles.

I was naïve in thinking that my University had open access to all the journal articles I needed. It wasn’t until I began research on my dissertation, that I realised that the University only has access to a small proportion of the articles I required. PLOS (2015) discusses the process institutions go through in order to gain site license and re-use of its content. The video below found on Twitter, discusses the importance of open access in various organizations.

The move to create more open access journals has become more rapid since the beginning of the 21st century. In fact, the Higher Education Funding Council for England has announced that UK research after April 2016, must be open access otherwise it won’t qualify for funding (The Guardian, 2014). Some of the benefits of open access in this regard are highlighted in the video below.

However, it is not just open access to journals and other academic papers that is important. Having open access to music is also an interesting topic. However, as with academic journals, there are numerous benefits and limitations of being able to access songs online for free.

Given the various ‘swings and roundabouts’ of open access, in the coming years, as open access gains momentum, it will be interesting to see whether open accessibility is sustainable.


Business Insider: UK (2014) Taylor Swift Explains Why She Left Spotify, Accessed: April 2015.

Ketchum, A. and Klem, M. (2012) Open Access Journals: The Pros and Cons, Research Methodology Series: Continuing Education, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.

Key Perspectives (2006) Open Access: Why Should We Have It?, Accessed: April 2015.

PLOS (2015) Open Access, Accessed: April 2015.

Right to Research (2014) The Problem: Students Can’t Access Essential Research…, Accessed: April 2015.

Spotify (2015) How is Spotify Contributing to the Music Business?, Accessed: April 2015.

The Guardian (2014) What’s the Biggest Challenge Facing Open Access?, Accessed: April 2015.


4 thoughts on “Topic 5: The Swings and Roundabouts of Open Access

  1. Hi Hayley,

    Your post was a very interesting read and I particularly enjoyed your use of Prezi to switch up how you presented your argument. I agree with your advantage that states that ‘research topics can be expanded upon and developed’. One thing I find helpful when using resources online is the build up of sources. I can stumble across a journal that was published in 1999 and also find a journal published a decade later that has adapted the findings prior to. This not only furthers my understanding, but is also useful for students to have a wide array of accessible resources that should result in in-depth research.

    I was also unaware of the fact that UK research from April 2016 must be open access otherwise it won’t qualify for funding.

    Building on from your last statement, do you think that open accessibility will be sustainable in years to come?


    • Thanks Nicole. The fact that the Higher Education Funding Council for England, has put in place a policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework, suggests that there is a preference for open access. Many institutions over the coming years will adopt ‘green’ or ‘gold’ open access routes. However, though being able to access current literature will stimulate further academic research, there will be various challenges in the initial stages of making open access sustainable. For example, ‘gold’ open access may reduce the UK’s competitiveness. All of the UK’s research would be globally available, yet the rest of the world would not repay this generosity.


  2. Pingback: Topic 5 Reflection | nicoleodofin

  3. Pingback: Topic 5: Reflection | Sophie Elliott

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