Topic 5 Reflection

My initial understanding of open access was that information online can be obtained by anyone for free, amongst academic journals and newspapers for example. Advantages and disadvantages of open access to content producers ranged from widespread recognition through their citation, to a robbing of revenue respectively.

Further consequences of open access to content producers can be seen below:


However, from reading Zacwhu’s blog, I understood online news producers are creating web traffic to generate income from advertisers. Underpinned by open access, through no paywall, these sites experience vast page views, enabling them to raise the cost of advertising on their website. Zac also mentioned this act of creating web traffic is the attempt of newspapers to recoup the lost advertising revenue from the steady decline in print media, being 9.6% alone last year.  

Moreover, after reading Allie’s blog, where she expanded upon the ‘gold’ vs ‘green’ access debate, I acknowledged publishers can still receive revenue, whilst enabling open access of literature. This win-win situation is certainly a solution to the monetization aim of online information by content producers and publishers motivated by self-greed. Allie pointed out a disadvantage of open access is the disincentive content producers get to conduct further research, which links closely to the lack of credit received when web users plagiarise the work of content producers. 

Overall, after peer engagement, I understand that amongst online information, open access is in decline. Conversely, from the ‘gold’ vs ‘green’ access debate for instance, there is hope open access remains in the future. However, we can only hope the monetization of online literature by content producers and publishers does not tower over the ethical issue pointed out by the British Academy, that all knowledge should be freely available to everyone.

Additional changes in my understanding can be seen below.


Link to the work of other students:


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