Open Access – A reflection

The fifth and final topic has proved to be extremely thought provoking which I must say came as a surprise.

The main learning outcomes from this week’s comments and discussions, self-created using Canva

After a comment from Ji, I explained how I felt OA (Open Access) was ethically sound, when done correctly. The discussion also solidified how OA should be a choice and not a requirement for authors. A discussion with Madeleine also explored OA and its potential to cause a decline in journal standards.

In her comment, Caiti felt certain media outlets had to implement paywalls in order to succeed. However I disagreed, offering the example of NME to show how outlets can successfully publish material freely.

In terms of comments on other people’s work I was intrigued to find out Edward’s views on OA and whether he felt it could ever completely be realised.

The most fascinating engagement this week came through discussions with Harriet. After clarifying my claims around repositories potentially violating copyright, I was also pleased to discover embargo periods for work ‘owned’ by publishers which could drastically improve the amount of OA material available. In addition, after I tweeted praise for unpaywall, Harriet replied to share her experience.

Furthermore, as seen below I was tagged in a tweet from the authors of unpaywall who used my tweets as evidence for a bibliometric analyst looking to gauge the success of the tool.

Tweet available here:

I was interested to explore Harriet’s views further and in a comment on her post I was surprised to find that she had not faced any difficulty in accessing papers through unpaywall. Harriet also offered an explanation as to why OA hasn’t been a complete success, to which I added how I feel a lack of awareness contributes heavily.

All in all topic 5 proved extremely enjoyable and I have been surprised at how broad an issue OA is, something I’d only previously attributed to scholarly work.

Word count: 310


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