“Anyone, anywhere in the world should have free, unhindered access to not just my research, but to the research of every great and inquiring mind across the spectrum of human understanding” –Stephen Hawking
One particular topic that took my interest was the concept of “Open Access”. Before this course I was oblivious towards the meaning of open access and why it is important to have open access in today’s society.Throughout my discussion, I want to discuss the positives and negatives that comes with open access and why it is very much relevant.
While doing some research, I came across some very accurate and well developed definitions of what is open access is, but in my own words I believe that open access is when information and publications are available online for free and has limited restrictions for anyone to use.
There are two types of open access, Green and gold, but what’s the difference? I discovered some very good definitions of these two while reading a blog, (Christensen, 2013) in which it states that Gold open access “refers to work that is immediately available free of charge at the site of publication to any member of the public” while Green open access “refers to work that is made publicly available in a repository, institutional or subject-based, after an embargo period”.
What are the benefits of open access?
There are numerous benefits that comes with open access, the main advantage is that publications are freely available to anyone anywhere at any time, this lets people from around the world build up on the researcher’s ideas which could lead to a possible new discovery. Open access is particularly useful for students as again it’s free, in today’s society it is obvious that students would rather go for information that is free rather than having to pay for it. Open access also enhances the researchers work, giving them a sense of satisfaction and pride. However, some researched who do not participate in public access believe that they worked hard for their work then it should be paid for, which is somewhat fair as it’s their own work. However, although you don’t have to pay for open access, someone has to pay for the publications usually either the author or their employer which can be very discouraging for those to chose open access.
Without a doubt open access is becoming more and more popular, While reading an article (Stephen Hawking’s 1966 doctoral thesis made available for first time, 2017) even Stephen hawking has made work back from 1966 freely available, as he stated that “By making my PhD thesis open access, I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos” This is a huge for the next step in open access as Stephen hawking is one of the most influential person in today’s society and for the smartest man in the world to make some of his work available is just astonishing
I came across a very helpful and detailed video explaining open access which I put down below!
Christensen, Sten. 2013. The difference between Green and Gold open access. http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/openaccess/2013/11/the_difference_between_green_a.html. [Online] November 2013. [Cited: November 19, 2017.]
Stephen Hawking’s 1966 doctoral thesis made available for first time. Kennedy, Maev. 2017. The gaurdian, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/oct/23/stephen-hawking-1966-thesis-cambridge-university-properties-of-expanding-universes
- Open Acess Explained! Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics), 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watchv=L5rVH1KGBCY&feature=youtu.be