Topic 5: Reflective Summary

When I first read the introduction to Topic 5 I have to admit I was a little put off, I wasn’t sure what I could possibly say about it. But actually, it has proved to be one of the most interesting topics.

While most people focussed on the Academic impact of Open Access, but Jack showed a totally different side that I hadn’t really considered until I read his Blog. He showed how services such as Music and Gaming Platforms are experiencing similar discussions as to what the future holds in regards to open access.

I thought that Jens really highlighted what is for me the main concern in regards to current access to Journal Articles. That is that prices are currently rising faster than the rate of Inflation, which means they are being used as a major income generator for the companies which own them. It was in the comments on Jens article that I noticed an interesting point being raised by Leigh; that less money being generated by Universities and Academics from the publishing of Research could in turn limit the academic employment opportunities for Graduate Students looking for a future in Academia.

But Namat brought forward another dimension to the argument. He presented the idea that because much of the research that is used to create Online Journals is actually done so using data which has been funded by public money, so the fact that we have to pay to access it is a little problematic for a lot of people.

Overall, I have to admit I’m still a little undecided. In an ideal world we would be able to access all articles entirely free, but people need to make a living, the work needs to be researched, developed, reviewed and maintained. As I said in my original post, none of this is free. I struggle to see an option which will keep all parties happy so it will be interesting to see where this goes in the future.

(332 Words)

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