Topic 5 – Reflection

There are several advantage and disadvantages to academic content producers and many people took a different approach which interested me this week. Firstly, I must say that since writing this post I came across a barrier to pay for academic content whilst researching for my dissertation. This restriction was frustrating, however, I understood after having researched this topic why there were such cost barriers.

I must say what alarms me are the figures used including by Nicole on the price of books. These figures seem rather extortionate. However, as I mentioned in my comment it brings the notion of Supply and Demand, and in the free market, there is nothing stopping firms.  Therefore, this market may be seen as highly inefficient and in some cases require government intervention.

I did not realise to the extent pirating was having an impact on the film industry until pointed out by Joseph. This is also concerning as actors and actresses put hours and effort into their roles to produce a movie and the same way academics focus hours on research. The reward for the content produced should be valued and accredited allowing the individuals to reap the rewards. It is an opportunity cost whether the individual should want to buy the movie or whether they do not.

This is what I have learnt that the idea of open access in both fields is similar but having open access for films and music is not a necessity and it is an opportunity cost the individual has to make for their individual benefit. Whereas academic content is seen as building on knowledge that betters society and the argument is slightly different.

This link found through Kevin’s profile explains Open Access if you are still interested or curious.

(Wiley, 2014)

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Open Access – Academic Content Producers


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(Higher, 2012)

The Gold and Green Route


(Chase, 2016)


Academics primary reasons for publishing include (Stack, 2016):

  • pursuing their career goals and moving up in the academic post positions.
  • researching to be published, in order to attract attention and gain credit for their work.  Both quantity and quality which is required to achieve the aim of gaining citations, which add merit (Jobs,2014).
  • researching in order to make a meaningful contribution towards existing literature.

The pressure to publish stems from the need to attract more funding in order to pursue further research into the field. Academics, gain publicity and attention through the number of their publications and they get a yearly allowance to do so. This enables them to attend conferences and pay for the relevant resources required.

Believe it or not, attending a conference as an academic speaker can be costly and in many cases the funding allowance barely covers this. Therefore, publications are seen as a source of income and can help to increase job security. However, if publications are made freely available they may gain an increased number of citations, but then who would assess and review the work to test its legitimacy?

Scholarly information and academic research have a direct financial cost to fund researchers whether it be from a private or public entity. The argument for all public research to be made freely available is that in theory it is the taxpayer funding research so why should they have to pay twice? Should it not be freely available? The Government conducted research and found that it could cost up to £60 million a year to make publically funded research freely available (JHA, 2012).

By freely uploading documents and materials and allowing open access to the content, producers lose the financial value in the work produced, as publishers will not want to issue the research as it is already freely available. Furthermore, even if certain materials are published in journals, the author is sometimes required to pay a fee to publish their work due to the prestige. Then again, if the government were to step up, the world wide web could be used more efficiently to spread information and allow for academics to gain fulfilment that their work is being built on or even gaining from the benefits to the non-academic dissemination of their work (Tennant et al, 2016).

Advantages and Disadvantages:


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Introduction references:

David, W., Cable, G. and Louis, S. (2012) Dramatically bringing down the cost of education with OER: How open education resources unlock the door to free learning. Available from: [Accessed 11 December 2016].
HEFCE, (2015c) What is open access? – higher education funding council for England. Available from: [Accessed 11 December 2016].
Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics) (2012) Open access explained! YouTube. Available from: [Accessed 11 December 2016].
References the gold and green route
Darren Chase, Libraries, S. (2016) Open access. Available from: [Accessed 11 December 2016].
Discussion References:
Jobs. (2014) The essential guide to moving up the academic career ladder an ebook with tips and tested techniques for making yourself promotion-ready. Available from: [Accessed 11 December 2016].
(2016) Why do academics publish? Available from: [Accessed 11 December 2016].
Jha, A. (2012) Open access is the future of academic publishing, says Finch report. The Guardian, 19 June. Available from: [Accessed 11 December 2016].
Tennant JP, Waldner F, Jacques DC et al. The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review [version 2; referees: 3 approved, 2 approved with reservations].
Pontoon References:
Eindhoven (n.d.) Advantages and disadvantages of open access. Available from: [Accessed 11 December 2016].
Ltd, E.G. (2013) Advantages and disadvantages of open access. Available from: [Accessed 11 December 2016].