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Friday, 2 May 2014

#uosm2008 - Explain the advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online

There are many advantages and disadvantages for a content producer to put their materials online. First of all content can be anything, from a simple selfie
 to an academic journal, screen-print IEEE XPLORE. During this blog post I will mainly be focussing on academic journal content.

This video [1] talks about open access and stressed about the unfairness that academic journals costs have outpaced inflation by 250%, hardly fair. But I’m sure they’re not the only business that does this for example of the price of medication. [2]


The advantage of making content freely available online is that the exposure is likely to be far greater and that a breath of people will be able to access your work, especially those in developing countries who need the knowledge most but don’t have the finances to pay hefty subscription fees, such as 15712,06 Euros! [3]

YouTube is a great example of content being distributed freely, people producing content for the masses with no limitation on who views it and how many times.

Another advantage are the morals of a writer, when they know that all there hard work can be shared with everyone not just those who are financially well off.


On the other hand you could argue that the producer of the content would want recognition in the academic world, and this often comes from being in high quality journals, which often have a high price tag.

Also if the user doesn’t have to pay to access the journal someone has got to pick up the publishing costs, this can often be the author. [4]

Quality is another issue that might worry content producers especially academics who need to publish their work. In paid journals there is strict quality control through peer review. However quality control varies in open access and is especially low in some repositories. [5]


In summary the views on open access are starting to gain popularity recently Harvard [6] explained its journals bill, which it claimed, was in the millions “We simply cannot go on paying the increase in subscription prices”. 

Unfortunately the change to open access will not be easy as mentioned in this article [7] “universities are locked into buying their products. Academic papers are published in only one place, and they have to be read by researchers trying to keep up with their subject”


[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L5rVH1KGBCY
[2] http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB105779249051280400
[3] https://www.bibliothek.kit.edu/cms/english/most-expensive-journals%20.php
[6] http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/apr/24/harvard-university-journal-publishers-prices
[7] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/academic-publishers-murdoch-socialist

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