Resource from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2HMouOV-Lg
Resource from: http://chronicle.com/article/What-a-Mass-Exodus-at-a/234066
The shift towards open access
Newsflash: Just barely 2 weeks ago, Lingua, a prominent linguistics journal lost a total of 37 editorial employees via resignation due to a disagreement over changing their business model to be a fully open access publication with the journal’s publisher, Elsevier. This is due to increasing concerns of institutional libraries unable to afford escalating subscription fees, a worrying trend, which is a disadvantage of open access.
Academic publishers moving towards oligopoly in the digital era?
Due to the popularity of open access, mergers and acquisition in academic publisher industry had increased. Five largest publishing houses combined control 50% of the market in 2015. “The world of academic publishing has been consolidated into a limited number of tightly controlled channels” Peter Mcpherson (Nov 3, 2015).
Which is bad news for libraries and internet users like me as lesser competition would eventually lead to higher subscription costs for educational institution and more restrictions such as paywalls for consumers with the intention for them to increase their profit margins such as Elsevier. Harvard university raised concerns about these worrying trends.
Concerns for creative circles
In topic 4, I had mentioned about user generated contents, a major disadvantage for anyone making their contents or materials available free online would be being prone to undesired outcomes such as not being cited or being a victim of plagiarism. It is only ethical for us to give recognition for other’s work!
Now, to move on to the advantages of open access:
Resource from: http://www.goodpractice.com/blog/items/informal-learning-decoding-the-myths-and-mysteries-infographic/
Open access would enhance the effectiveness of an individual’s informal learning process as there are more materials available at their disposal. It is definitely encouraged in businesses as it is a cost effective and efficient way of training employees. For example: Middle-aged employees whom wish to upgrade themselves besides training or part-time education grants offered by the firm, would be more inclined to research about particular topics to improve themselves.
This give every single individuals a chance to gain more knowledge about a topic. In the aspect of society, it gives every individuals belonging to any of the income bracket a chance to gain in-depth knowledge about a topic of their interest instead of being put off by access fees and paywalls. In America, grants are given out from the nation’s taxes for researches to be conducted and perhaps due to social reasons, it encouraged the White House to review and announce a new US open-access policy.
By making your content available online might perhaps be the start of your brand. Last month, I was invited to an alumni dinner and gained a little bit of insight to the concept of crowdfunding.
Alphonso managed to kick start his brand through the exposure gained from posting his product idea online. A total of $39,213 AUD was pledged to bring his project to life and that was the start to Natsu Wallet. Open access had allowed plenty of internet users with brilliant ideas to gather feedback and attract venture capitalist to invest in their ideas.
Dear readers, would you agree with me that the advantages of open access is too vital to be ignored today? Personally, I feel that the advantages of open access outweighs the negatives.
Rishma Parpia (September 10, 2015) Scientific Publishing Industry Has Become An Oligopoly
Ellen Wexler (November 05, 2015) What a mass exodus at a linguistics journal means for scholarly publishing
Steam Register (June 14, 2015) The oligopoly of academic publishers in the digital era
Ian Sample (April 24, 2012) Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices
Insidehighered, Public Universities Back Protest of Elsevier Pricing
Micheal Stebbins (February 22, 2013) Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research