Don’t worry, this blog is free to read.
Academic literature is a much changing field, with the internet being “frequently compared to the printing press” (Wiley et al, 2012) as a publishing tool, with the cost of re producing books decreasing from $250 (transcribed by hand) to $0.0008 (copying an online version).
The large increase of production of academic literature, which is largely publicly funded (Harnad, 2012), alongside the new format it appears on, has created debate over whether all new academic content should be freely available. Harnad (2012) goes on to describe 3 ways in which research can be made open access, which are described in figure 1 below.
Figure 1: S Hanard (2012) 3 ways of creating online access in academic publications. Arthur Boulding 2016.
These 3 separate paths in which open access can be created have both supportive and contrasting relations to each other (Weller, 2013), which can help describe the positives and negatives of open access;
The video below (video 1) displays the 7 ways Weller (2013) suggests that open access can be beneficial for an educational author.
Video 1: 7 motivations for oppenness. Arthur Boulding 2016.
Alongside the clear advantage that was stated in the introduction regarding the price of production being cheaper, the wider audience that will be reached could be seen as a very self-fulfilling benefit.
Skoll World Forum (2013) notes the importance of the Khan Academy providing education materials at no cost to the student. This creates education free of discrimination, assuming the student will have access to the internet which 40% of the world do, with this figure ever increasing. Skoll World Forum (2013) further exemplify this by the range of classroom innovations in less developed areas of South Africa and Peru, with the lowered cost of educational resources benefiting less privileged students.
The most notable disadvantage to an author would be the exploitation of their work, by not making money from people reading their content, with copyright meaning the internet was “born at a severe disadvantage” (Wiley et al, 2012).
Focusing on “customers” rather than “students” may lead to financial gains being prioritised over education benefits, causing conflicting opinions among interest groups (Weller, 2013) and an ambiguous form for which one’s research should be presented: A series of blogs? Previously used academic Journals?
Given all the evidence the pros hugely out way the cons, with the reasons research is conducted being fulfilled: The spreading of your own knowledge to a wide range of others and the collaboration of numerous academics work being shared and compiled in order to improve existing structures.
Word Count: 405.
[image] Ellsworth D. Foster ed. The American Educator (vol. 6)(Chicago, IL: Ralph Durham Company, 1921) available at Ellsworth D. Foster ed. The American Educator (vol. 6)(Chicago, IL: Ralph Durham Company, 1921) accessed on: 11/12/16.
Harnad S, 2012, There’s no justifying Research Council UK’s support for gold open access, The Guardian, available at: https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2012/sep/03/rcuk-gold-open-access-research-unjustified accessed on: 11/12/16.
Internet Live Stats, available at: http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/ accessed on: 11/12/16.
Skoll World Forum, 2013, Forbes, available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/skollworldforum/2013/04/07/education-finally-ripe-for-radical-innovation-by-social-entrepreneurs/#5471e1767a55, accessed on: 9/11/16.
Weller M, 2013, What sort of open do you want?, available at: http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/2013/10/what-sort-of-open-do-you-want.html accessed on 11/12/16.
Wiley et al, 2012, Dramatically Bringing down the Cost of Education with OER: How Open Education Resources Unlock the Door to Free Learning, Center for American Progress, available at http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED535639.pdf, accessed on 9/11/2016.