In my blog this week I chose to focus on whether academic producers may benefit from making their work free to access online. This was a very interesting topic to research and one I felt very relevant to my current status as an undergraduate student. One blogger, Alexander Welch, pointed out that my positonality (Rose 1997) may have influenced my opinions on the topic, as I would naturally encourage as much open access in academic work as possible, however I did try to be as neutral as possible.
Figure 1: What about me influences my positionality on open access in academic publishing? Arthur Boulding 2016.
The majority of material available regarding the subject was supportive of academics making their work freely available, with the main benefits including the work being able to reach a wider audience, allowing more collaboration with researchers in related or the same fields and being able to reach audiences that are unable to afford access to fee needing websites (Weller, 2013).
Reaching audiences that are usually less accessible is another very supportive reason which was touched upon in other blogs, such as Alexander Welch’s, which highlighted the importance of free content to help developing and marginalised communities in educational circumstances.
One commentator on my blog, Zachary Cohen, helped me to question the significant motives of academic researchers. Prior to his comment, I believed that their main goal was to conduct research that allowed them to educate and influence the wider world for the better. This was perhaps a slightly naive opinion to hold, I had obviously considered money would influence their decision making however I believed it to be not as significant as others. The comments on my post led me to further consider the influence that money could play, and that some academics could be in the profession purely to maximise financial gain rather than make positive change.
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My comments on other blogs:
G Rose, 1997, Situating knowledges: positionality, reflexivities and other tactics, Progress in Human Geography, 21 (3), pp 305 -320.