Topic 5: FreeAccess+RestrictedAccess=OpenAccess

Have you ever just went on Google Images, searched for an image of your choice and used it, not caring who made it, how or even when? Well I guess we are all in the same boat. There are lots of advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online. The focus of this blog post is to discuss and chew over the aforementioned issue. Below is a picture collage that I made to delineate what is been discussed [1].



Some of the advantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online includes popularity and enhancing the future of tomorrow’s leaders. Imagine a truly huge digital library — every book ever published, every movie ever released, all the strata of web history… All free to the public! Well this is the dream of an inventor, philanthropist and digital librarian called Brewster Kahle. Attached below is one of his talks on TED [2].

On the other hand, the disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online include breach of copyright, which obviously leads to multiplier-effects like lost of wealth, information misinterpretation, etc. For example… (See image below [3])

What do you think?

What do you think?

Some ‘publishers’ have found that one can mock up what looks like a ‘journal’, stick it to a webserver somewhere, charge significant publication fees, and make a lot of money. [4]

Indeed there are lots of advantages and disadvantage to a content producer of making their materials freely available online. As we are now in the 21th century, a common ground needs to be established for example open access also content producers might decide to make their materials for subscribed users only. This will enable them to still retain their ownership, wealth and also minimize data misinterpretation and manipulation. Which is perhaps why an international survey study have concluded that 90 per cent of online content would likely be held behind a pay-wall in the coming years [5].

As Elizabeth Marincola said there are few things in life that are so arresting as a spectacular car accident… science, money and free flow of information. [6]


[1] Me



[4] Peterson, 2013




7 thoughts on “Topic 5: FreeAccess+RestrictedAccess=OpenAccess

  1. Hi Aliyu,
    I think your presentation within this blog is particularly strong. Its engaging and an interesting read, especially with your use of Kahle’s Ted Talk. You touch upon some of the advantages of having content distributed freely, particularly the idea that open access expands popularity. The software industry is a good example, demonstrating this. OpenOffice, Linux (OS), and other software like SUPER have enjoyed massive success, however open access make monetisation of the product (even just to cover costs) very difficult. I think its right that you highlight this as ‘loss of wealth’.
    I agree that subscriptions may be the only way to monetise content in the future. However it is not as simple as this. Can you think of any other alternative ways to subscriptions, that an author can have their content/product released to a wide audience, whilst still receiving enough money?

  2. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for the delightful comments on my blog; I am glad you found it interesting. About your question on other alternative ways to subscriptions, that an author can have their content/product released to a wide audience, whilst still receiving enough money. Since we both agreed on having to pay for an item as the ‘future of publishing’, another alternative to subscription could perhaps be a one-off payment. For example an author can decide to make their book an e-book where potential readers can pay instantly and own it forever. This will enable authors to release to a wider audience especially now, when plenty of readers are choosing not to buy hardcopies. Also it might be wise for authors to choose print-on-demand (POD) over print run. POD is awesome because you only pay for what you sell so POD is a smart business decision. I believe these techniques would help authors to release to a wide audience, whilst also still receiving enough money. I hope I have answered your question.

    • You’re very informed! Yes that is a good suggestion. I sometimes imagine a world without journal companies! I just worry that authors (particularly less known, up and coming ones) wont have the platform to release their research to a wide audience, without the agency of the journal company. It would be interesting to see how it would work, if all research was released independently.

  3. Pingback: Topic 5: SUMMARY – Access Denied – The Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access | Living And Working On The Web

  4. I really enjoyed reading your blog! I particularly liked your thoughts on coming to a common ground and perhaps having content producers give open access to subscribers. Would anyone be able to sign up as s subscriber, or would there still be a monthly membership fee?

    We’ve all talked about the advantages and disadvantages of having open access materials, in your personal opinion which argument do you agree with more? In more recent years I’d have to say open access to more materials would be better, this is more of a selfish point I hold as it will help me with work and research, and I never considered the content producer until this research topic. Do you think many others think like this too?

  5. Hi Francesca,
    Thanks for the compliments on my blog. About your questions, well let’s start with the meaning of the word subscription. It means an arrangement to receive something, typically a publication, regularly by paying in advance. So I believe you paying weekly, monthly or even yearly is entirely up to the content producer to decide also the same can be said about whether anyone can sign up as it is up to the publisher to decide but I think in most cases you have to meet up some certain criteria.
    My personal opinion on Open Access favors the advantage which is why I ended my blog with a quote from Elizabeth Marincola as I believe ‘free flow of information’ is necessary hence I do not believe your thoughts are selfish and I’m sure many other people not just even students like me or you do have this similar opinion.

  6. Pingback: SUMMARY TOPIC 5 | FrancescaCharnley

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