Open access (OA) refers to publications which are free to read, download, copy, distribute, print or search (Openaccess.nl, 2017). This relates to any paywall free publication from academic journals to entertainment (e.g. music and film streaming). Like many digital innovations, OA has its advantages and disadvantages which will be discussed in this post with particular attention on the impacts for content producers.
Increased access/distribution; increases the opportunity for authors to have their work exposed to a bigger audience; giving them publicity and helping them share their message/research. I believe this benefit is highly beneficial for the education industry (see below).
The infographic below explains the two types of OA publication. One of the main reasons it is faster to publish online, is not having to rely on printing hard copies.
Some OA journals offer a discounted/waived publication fee for papers from countries classified as low-income (Geib, 2013) which benefits authors in LEDC’s.
Fast and easier publication is valued by artists in the music industry as streaming means there is no need to be signed to a music label; creating ease of sharing their work – see Chance’s success story below.
I believe the most valuable benefit for authors is having insight about their work as this enhances decision making. For artists this enables informed decisions around production and promotion.
Slideshow information taken from (Tue.nl, 2017)
OA journals do not have a reputable image due to being associated with issues such as pirating and lack of quality control. See this article about the OA journal ‘Sci-hub’. Being associated to such journals may ruin an authors reputation – which is why it’s important for them to choose wisely – the video below advises how.
OA publishing is not yet cheaper than the current costs of licences, and therefore may be costly for authors e.g. publication fees with gold OA.
‘Predatory’ OA journals are known to take ownership of articles. This may disable authors from publishing their articles elsewhere.
I personally believe the advantages of OA outweigh the disadvantages as it gives content producers the opportunity to give back on a social level. Arts such as music forms part of many people’s lives and having it widely available provides a rich source of well being for society. Did you know Soundcloud has saved lives? Moreover, without OA journals I couldn’t imagine finishing my university work without spending hundreds, do you agree?
Bahannon, J. (2016). Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone. [Blog] ScienceMag. Available at: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/04/whos-downloading-pirated-papers-everyone [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].
Blanchett, H. (2016). An introduction to open access. [online] Jisc. Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/an-introduction-to-open-access [Accessed 25 Apr. 2017].
Geib, A. (2013). Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access. [Blog] Edanz. Available at: https://www.edanzediting.com/blogs/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-open-access [Accessed 25 Apr. 2017].
Horizon 2020. (2015). Open Science (Open Access) – Horizon 2020 – European Commission. [online] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/open-science-open-access [Accessed 25 Apr. 2017].
Openaccess.nl. (2017). Your role. [online] Available at: http://www.openaccess.nl/en/your-role [Accessed 20 Apr. 2017].
Prater, C. (n.d.). 8 Ways to Identify a Questionable Open Access Journal | AJE | American Journal Experts. [online] Aje.com. Available at: http://www.aje.com/en/arc/8-ways-identify-questionable-open-access-journal/ [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].
Sander, D. (2015). 5 Reasons Music Streaming Services Can Benefit Artists. [Blog] Feauture.fm. Available at: http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2015/03/5-reasons-music-streaming-services-can-benefit-artists.html [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].
Tue.nl. (2017). Advantages and disadvantages of Open Access. [online] Available at: https://www.tue.nl/en/university/library/education-research-support/scientific-publishing/open-access-coach/basic-concepts-and-background/pros-and-cons-of-open-access/ [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].