Topic 5

Topic 5: Open access can save lives.

Wiley’s video above defines open access as free immediate and available research articles online with free re-use rights.

Slideshow 1: The slideshow gives a brief summary of the topic Open Access created by myself (Heer, 2016). 

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Open access has been extremely beneficial to myself at university. Specifically, as I’m writing my dissertation. Already I have used over 30 various journals, publications and articles. When I search a topic online and come across a journal that requires subscription or payment to access I’m put off and simply move onto the next research. Hence, without open access I wouldn’t have a dissertation to write as, I and many of my peers, are not willing to pay to read a journal. This prevents us from world class research and suggests that without open access, education would be restricted from independent learning to what professors are able to teach us.

Figure 1: Benefits of Open Access (Horne, 2015) 


A video created by Shockey and Eisen (2012) shared their story when one of the creators had a family member rushed to hospital. He mentioned that as a scientist and surrounded by qualified doctors no-one knew the diagnosis or medical condition for what happened to the family member. However, when he researched online, there was information he couldn’t’ access which may have had the answers. This shows that restrictions to information effects saving a life easily.

Figure 2: Shows the number of worldwide from the MIT Faculty Open Assess Articles Collection between 2010- June 2012 (MIT Libraries, 2012).


Nevertheless, with free access, how will publishers earn their money? It becomes a costlier and lengthy process. While the readers don’t have to pay for articles, someone has to pay for the costs of publication. This is usually the responsibility of the author which can discourage researches from going open access.

Figure 3: Process of publishing an open access research paper (Libraries, 2016). 


With this, there is a possibility that the quality of the journals will diminish. Open access rights incentivize journals to publish more articles in order to cover the costs as a large portion of their revenue comes from publication fees. Therefore, publishing more articles could have a negative impact on the overall quality of each article as publisher’s rush to complete as many as they can (Geib, 2013).

Slideshow 2: Is a glossary of terms adapted from (Horne, 2015)

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Overall, reading Hall’s (2014) article, I agree that access shouldn’t be granted to everyone. It should be selective and given broadly e.g. Universities, corporations or academics who require for their research. For example, Bloomberg is free for traders in banks but otherwise individuals must pay for a subscription. Paywalls and passwords are efficient ways to implement this however, there remains the issue of online hackers and increased crime who will still be able to access information freely.

(Word Count: 400)


 Geib, A. (2013). ‘Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access’. edanz [online], Available at: (Accessed: 8 December 2016).

Hall, M. (2014). ‘Why open access should be a key issue for university leaders’. The Guardian, [online], 18 February, Available at: (Accessed: 8 December 2016) 

Heer, D. (2016) ‘Open Access’ PowToon, Slideshow.

Horne, M. (2015) ‘LibGuides: Open access publishing for Aston authors: OA publishing explained.’ Aston University. Available at: (Accessed: 5 December 2016).

Lepitak, S. (2013). ‘90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests’. The Drum News [online], 12 April. Available at: (Accessed 5 December 2016).

MIT Libraries. (2012). ‘The worldwide impact of open access to MIT faculty research’. MIT News [online], 22 October. Available at: (Accessed: 8 December 2016).

Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics). (2012). ‘Open Access Explained’. YouTube. Available at: (Accessed 8 December 2016).


Pros and cons (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 8 December 2016).

Libraries, S. (2016). ‘Open Access’ Stony Brook University. Available at: (Accessed: 5 December 2016)

Wiley. (2014). ‘Understanding Open Access’. YouTube. Available at: (Accessed 8 December 2016).

Wiley, D., Green, C., and Soares, L. (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: (Accessed 5 December 2016).





4 thoughts on “Topic 5: Open access can save lives.

  1. Hi Davina,

    You really did a good blog and I am enjoy it. You used many colorful pictures which attract to me and very helpful to I understand your post. You structure is good and one brief paragraph with one picture makes me easier to read your blog.

    I agree with you that open access is benefit for people especially for education. Without opening access, we almost impossible finish our study. However, it is unfair for those authors. They spent so much time to finish their journals even have to cover their cost by themselves.

    But I think the way you suggested which is opening access should be selective and given broadly e.g. Universities, corporations or academics who require for their research is not enough. I think expect those public organizations, we cannot ensure people who are not part of these organizations do not need to access to do the research. Therefore, I think government should share part of responsibility and people who need to use can reduce the burdens.

    Overall, I really enjoy your blog!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Tiffany,

    I really enjoy your blog and the Piktochart you used is very clearly to me to let me know the important of education which plays a important role to education and I have to say the society will not make progress without education. I really agree with you that open access or not is a ethical issue and there is not a good solution at present because we cannot protect the interests of both authors and readers in the meantime. But one suggestion as Davina mentioned in her blog is opening access could be selective and given broadly such as Universities, corporations or academics who require for their research. I think it is a good suggestion. Otherwise, these public organizations could associate with government pay money to authors and let reading of journal becomes a freely service and provides to people at the named point of positions.



    1. Hi Xiaolu,

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your compliments to my blog as I do aim to make my blog easily readable.

      You make a good point about the government getting involved in the costs of publishing. I think it is a great idea to have the government subsidize authors in order to motivate them to publish. There also an additional point of advertising on the webpages where we access information.



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