Reflective Summary: Topic 5 – Open Access

This was a very interesting topic and one that has a hug impact on me as a university student. Through my initial research and reading of other people’s posts, I gained vast knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of open access.

Melak summed up the pros and cons of open access and discussed the way in which it would be viable in the real world, something I had not included in my post. He explained how the UK government announced they were to commit £10m to help research findings freely available. This, therefore, shows that the government are putting measures in place to ensure open access can be carried out effectively. I argued that this may not be necessary as many institutions, academic especially, have measures in place to allow for the use of paid articles for members and students.

Kevin also raised an enlightening view into the enormous size of the journal industry, whose prices have outpaced inflation by almost 250% over the last thirty years. This figure shows the level or profitability of the industry which may not be in the best interest of article users who might feel as though they are overpaying for the services they are receiving. This, therefore displays the potential need for change.

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My comment (shown above) brought up claims by Geib about the reduction in article quality due to open access. This has been shown on the flow chart I have created below.flowchart

Through this topic, my understanding and view has changed somewhat. I have been able to analyse and evaluate the pros and cons of open access. Whilst it is important that we have a reasonable level of access to academic studies, we must ensure that the quality these articles are not compromised.


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