At first Topic 5 seemed quite dry so I experimented with adding a theme to my post to try and bring my argument to life. I also found the student posts which focused their discussion on content producers to have the clearest structure.
There was a good deal of support for open access in last week’s research including clear benefits to content producers. Scott supported this in his comment that publishers unfairly drive profit margins at the expense of shared academia. I tried to address the balance by arguing that publishers are simply businesses and so cannot be blamed for these larger issues. In a similar vein, Rachel covered the less obvious disadvantages to a content producer of publishing open access and even went as far as to say that in their shoes she would follow conventional methods of publication due to the stigma surrounding open access and the importance of reputation when publishing. It is clearly a sensitive issue with complications and risks for involved parties; rather than blame being placed on one entity, I feel solutions must be driven by society as a whole.
Open access perhaps needs to be treated more like a movement with a gradual transition to a more open academic environment. I suggested the seeming redundancy of journals, to which Brad agreed: ‘I think the entire process needs to be rejuvenated … Interactive, free and accessible content (such as MOOCs) are definitely the most effective and efficient way forward’. Wil also picked up on MOOCs, and we discussed the implications of these in greater detail.
In a digital world where everything increasingly feels like a closed book, whether open access can challenge current methods without the big publishers finding loopholes or adopting new policies remains to be seen. Ultimately there is a need to create new ways of communicating and sharing knowledge.
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Comment on Rachel’s blog here.
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