Topic 5 = Open Access (OA)

Imagine you have done a ground-breaking research from your years of hard work, which was funded by a government or university. On one hand you want to share with people who are interested but the distribution expenses is a barrier for you. On the other hand readers can’t access this content whereas the very money funded for the research was from their own pocket i.e. in terms of tax or tuition fees.

In this blog I am going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online.


Below is a video explaining how Open Access works that I believe is a solution to the problem aforementioned.


The main key idea behind Open Access is that articles are freely available to anyone who is interested in reading. Below is a list of some advantages provided by Sparc Europe website [1].

  1. Free for all
  2. Immediate visibility for research output to their audience.
  3. It access information from everywhere over Internet.
  4. Increased access for target audience.
  5. Readers are not restricted to access any materials.
  6. Saved millions pounds for government and universities.
  7. Taxpayers get value for their money.

Indeed the list can go on and on…


The images above provide evidence that there are more effective readers who use open access then subscribe channels.


Its all seems good when we can access almost everything for free but nothing comes free and so is Open Access. Some cost has to be paid be someone and with open access that appears to be the publisher, however they are usually well paid by their sponsors so end users doesn’t have to pay anymore. Below are some bullet points explained in the Edanz website [2].

  1. Publication fee (as the reader doesn’t pay anything but the someone have to pay for publication).
  2. Lack of quality control
  3. Sustainability
  4. How does the author make their money? [3].


As we all are now university student about to graduate. We all might get into publication whatsoever so to conclude, I suggest that if you have a good content you want to share with people, you need to find top journals and open access so your end users can access that for free, also immediate access with full-reuse right. So everyone can see and cite your paper that way research can continue. Here a video that summarize everything for us.







10 responses to “Topic 5 = Open Access (OA)

  1. Something I really liked about your post was that you have set out the advantages and disadvantages very clearly. As with everyone including myself I believe, we have found more advantages to open access than disadvantages. In my post I mention that restricted access has hindered me in the past and therefore from a partially selfish point of view I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Obviously not just to heck myself but of course for the further development of all research.

    Would you agree that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?


  2. Hi Francesca,

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog.

    Yes I do agree with you, the advantages does outweigh the disadvantages in Open Access.


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  5. I really enjoyed reading your post this week, it was clearly set out with relevant media additions.

    I saw that in response to Francesca’s comment; you suggested that the advantages of open access outweigh the disadvantages. One of the advantages I found particularly interesting was that open access allows larger numbers of individuals to read an author’s work. This in turn may capture the attention of other authors and result in more open access papers. However, in publishing their work through open access, is their work being misused and misinterpreted? Leigh’s blog post (1) this week mentions the lack of quality amoung open access papers and an increase in copyright amoung readers. With this in mind, do you think that more needs to be done in order to make open access a more viable alternative to restricted access?



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  9. Great article Zia. I really do like the amount and the quality of all of the media items (VOD and images) you have chosen to include on the post and I feel it does make it stand out from the crowd hugely.

    Before reading your post I was fully on the side of Open access, however, I did not take into account the fee’s that the producer might have to pay. This leads me onto the question of how you feel about open access, with more of a focus on someone that has not been financially backed to release the article. What system would you think about using if you wanted your Journal/thesis ect to be widely available but you didn’t have the funds to make it totally free of charge?


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