Topic 5: The number one problem students face.

(Introduction to Open Access in Education)

Open access is defined as the free unrestricted access to scientific and scholarly with the use of the internet and traditional publication methods. This is a definition that can be found in many public statements. As students when searching for articles for research we are often encountered with the problem of not accessing articles without paying a certain fee.

The problems in traditional publishing arises with evolving of technology where publishing and distributing costs of journals and articles have started to decrease. However, the price to obtain journals, books and articles seem to be inflating .


Open access leads to many advantages in different areas and impacts different organisations and individuals.

Advantages to:


Authors are able to gain access to information at low cost and produce quality papers with high factual evidence without facing problems of property rights.

Researchers are able to better understand underlying concepts and find solutions to problems and cures for diseases as cost of obtaining information would be low.


Students gain access to information needed for research and go in-depth into their fields and progress in academia.

Citizens are able to get access to knowledge and increase their intellectual knowledge about different subjects.


Enterprises are able to access critical information needed in decision making and in the phase R&D. This would result in quality and innovative products and economies of scale.


Publishers are able to get more exposure and find more distribution channels leading to ultimate visibility of articles and journals published.

(How free flow of information can impact bio medicine)


Ultimately research, authoring, publishing an academic piece consumes a lot of time and money. Although research is funded by states in countries such as Australia and

New Zealand, countries such as Switzerland and Japan only 10% of research is state funded. (Storer, 2015). Eventually bills need to be paid and the only way to do that is by turning a profit on the research.

By encouraging open access, it eventually leads increase in competition between researches and scientists. This would lead to problems of theories and concepts being stolen by others in the field. This was the main reason publishers were brought into the picture during the 17th century. By implementing open access, it could also lead to less moderation and regulation. Papers that are poorly done would increase and the value of research would start to decrease. A good practical example could be the fact the students are not allowed to use Wikipedia for the purposes of research as the platform allows for anyone to edit and publish information even with factual inconsistencies

(General disadvantageous effects of open access)

In conclusion open access is a good model to implement. However it needs to be incorporated into various other models to make it more feasible and profitable to researchers and institutes.


(Here is a video I made summarising some of the Advantages and Disadvantages)




(Cold spring harbour Laboratory Library) :

(Kortemeyer , 2013 for EducaseReview) :

(Hawkins,2014 for University of North Texas Libraries):

(SPARC Europe):

(Storer,2015 for sirsidynix):


9 thoughts on “Topic 5: The number one problem students face.

  1. Hey Zai,
    It is reasonable for students and non-funded individuals or organizations to gain access to information such as research materials. I agree with Elizabeth Marincola when she said, “you could be profitable while supporting the broadest possible dissemination of knowledge”. It is not new or shocking to learn how scary it is that learning is limited by cost. We should also be mindful of the flaws that open access has, like the ease of plagiarising ones’ work or as shown, the lack of collaboration will tear down the productivity of that field. Open access clearly talks about educational publications. But what about other contents found on the internet. Such as graphic designs, music, software or other materials created. Content producers face copyright violation and find most of their work downloadable free as pirated copies. would open access have the same effect regarding the concerns of these content producers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mogan
      I had the exact question. I was very divided about whether its a good thing that content producers and artist are facing issues of privacy over which they are losing a lot of money. However just as the increase in prices of journals and articles we are also seeing an increase in the prices of other types of content. But it can be believed that this is because of the increase in technology and the effort put in by the artist to make their work standout.
      To answer your question I don’t believe that open access in the industries such as film and music can have the same effect as on the academic research industry. Mainly because of the amount of work put into creating and distributing this content. This could as well apply to the design industry or even computer softwares.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Zai,

    I liked the video summing up the gist of the blog-post. One main advantage of Open Access for Content Producer is getting more exposure and readership/viewership. However, what are your views on Open Access in Media and Music Industries. As we know there are many illegal websites (uTorrent, PirateBay) where piracy in movies, music is growing rapidly.
    As reported on Forbes, loss of revenue is of concern to networks and film company because it is illegal, cutting into profits and virtually unstoppable. Piracy sites will still continue to function, and if the film industry takes in roughly $10 billion per year in box office sales, an estimation that piracy will cost the film industry $3-4 billion annually as shown on Quora.
    However, I feel that the same concept goes for academic research industries as writers also put in substantial efforts to create materials that students like us access for free.

    -Jef Tan Yi Yang


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi jef,
      Thank you for the comment. As I’ve mentioned in my reflective I feel like media and content creators are facing a huge loss due to the increase in piracy. There should be more regulations implemented on this


  3. Hi Zaid, great blog post on open access!

    Referring to your point that an increase in competition between researchers and scientists is a disadvantage to open access. Can that be seen as advantage as well? By encouraging competition among researchers could potentially lead to an acceleration of new academic discoveries. Especially when there is a constant need to stand out due to the staggering amount of journals published every year. (

    In your conclusion, you mentioned the need to make it more feasible and profitable to researchers and institutes and I agree with you, however who would be providing said profits? Students/citizens who are trying to gain access to the information or through government-sponsored grants? Do you think that in the long run, researchers and institutes are able to achieve sustainability when it comes to publishing articles should the current system of publishing remain the same? Would like to hear your thoughts on this!


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