A common theme amongst the articles I’ve read seems to be that at least at some point during university people have been unable to access the journal/article that they require. This is worrying partly due to the fee’s that we pay as students (where does this money go?!), and secondly because if you are not a student at a university what chance have you got at accessing these high level materials?!
The summary section of most students posts encouraged the idea of open access (who wouldn’t!), but stressed that it’s going to be a bumpy ride along the way. I thought to myself after reading this, is there a half-way point that can be achieved in order to make the transaction to open access easier?
A potential idea that I thought of after reading:
Is that individuals could be granted access to articles if they had a need for them. The danger is if everything is made open, the vast majority of people will only read articles that interest them.
For example I might read up about the latest developments in cloud computing, but not on the latest techniques being used to find oil. By having access to individual parts at a time it might make the open access financial structure more plausible in the future. So for example if the a person is told to take a certain drug by the doctor the patient should have the right to read up on the drug in question.
Many peers mentioned that with open access there is a lack of quality control and therefore a lack of quality. Even if this is the case in the industry, hopefully the push from students will help overcome these preconceptions and that high quality articles will be made available to everyone.
To conclude if we go off the beaten track a bit, and individuals are unable to be inquisitive through reading up on subjects of interest, there is a danger that our natural urge for learning and innovation will be subdued by simply accepting that we do not deserve this level of knowledge due to our financial wellbeing.