Opening Pandora’s Box of Societal Issues. Topic 5 – Reflection.

Open Access has been my favourite topic to discuss on my blog. I found that the topic was a gateway that opened Pandora’s box of societal issues; and my inner Marxist absolutely loved it!

I particularly enjoyed reading Alex’s post, especially the inclusion of the statistic regarding journal prices outpacing inflation by 250% over the past 30 years. We both concluded that we are now in a ‘vicious cycle’ when trying to educate. Without Open Access, the restriction of information stops us as Digital Residents from growing and expanding our knowledge and enriching our identities (White and Cornu, 2011). This, and the rise in tuition fees maintains and in fact, increases the inequality within the education system and society as a whole.

However, after reading Ed’s post, I acknowledged that I may have gone full-on ‘Social Justice Warrior’ on this issue and only skimmed over the disadvantages of Open Access to really emphasise the positives. Thus, in this reflection, I aim to clearly provide both the advantages and disadvantages of Open Access to maintain my academic objectivity. This is seen below:

 

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This being addressed, I still maintain my heavy stance that the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages. As mentioned in my initial post, in a knowledge-based economy, it is detrimental to restrict information from those who cannot afford it; now more than ever, society demands us all to be informed and educated. Without Open Access this information is kept behind paywalls, disabling the majority from enriching insight into complex topics, and stops future content writers from accessing and improving existing knowledge.

This is an issue that will continue to be debated for many years, and I am flattered that my opinions on such an important topic has been shared and viewed by independent journalists and scholarly bloggers who specialise in Open Access as seen below:

Until next time,

Faazila.

Word count: 307

References:

Baker, E. (2017). Open Access – An issue for the 21st century – Edward Baker Blog. [online] Efolio.soton.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.efolio.soton.ac.uk/blog/eb16g14/2017/05/07/open-access-an-issue-for-the-21st-century/ [Accessed 10 May 2017].

Electric Frontier Foundation (2017). Open Access. [online] Electronic Frontier Foundation. Available at: https://www.eff.org/issues/open-access [Accessed 10 May 2017].

Turner, A. (2017). Open Access in 21st Century. [online] Alexander Turner. Available at: https://marketing1840.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/open-access/#more-579 [Accessed 10 May 2017].

University of Technology, Eindhoven (n.d.). Advantages and disadvantages of Open Access. [online] Tue.nl. Available at: https://www.tue.nl/en/university/library/education-research-support/scientific-publishing/open-access-coach/basic-concepts-and-background/pros-and-cons-of-open-access/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

White, D. and Cornu, A. (2017). Visitors & Residents. [online] Digital – Learning – Culture. Available at: http://daveowhite.com/vandr/ [Accessed 3 May 2017].

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Opening Pandora’s Box of Societal Issues. Topic 5 – Reflection.

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