Before researching open access, I was unaware of its various advantages and disadvantages. I have spent three years at university researching various topics and yet I have only ever encountered a few restricted journals. However, I never considered why these journals were off limit and what affect this had. Through the university I have read hundreds of academic journals, but I have never given any thought to the cost that the university must have paid in order to provide this access.
As an alterative, open access allows a wide range of individuals to read academic work without restrictions. With this is mind; Zia suggested that advantages of open access tend to outweigh the disadvantages. However, it is important to bear in mind who is disadvantaged through open access.
The open access movement has grown rapidly and is supported by various publishers. The Higher Education Funding Council for England recently announced that all UK research must be open access in order to qualify for funding after April 2016. This marks an important transition toward open access, and suggests that in the near future students will have little trouble accessing the academic papers they require. However, as Leigh discusses, open access is not without ethical and monetary issues on behalf of the authors.
Within my post this week I also extended the discussion to open access within the music industry, which was particularly insightful. Nicole’s post referred to Spotify in regards to its new competitor: Tidal. However, through further research, I found that many fear that Tidal’s high subscription fee may encourage individuals to pursue other methods to gain access to the same music, such as illegal downloads. The demand for higher royalties on behalf of artists such as Jay Z, has led to music online becoming more restricted, whilst academic work is becoming increasingly accessible.
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