Topic5: Openness to free access to online materials

Advantages to openness

Improving education level

With openness to accessing free materials online, more educational resources can be reached by underserved communities and countries. This will improve the overall education level in the globe and allow breakthroughs in poverty and less developed countries. Also, societies will benefit from such accessible network as well.

Beneficial to research

When materials are freely accessable online, crucial information on articles assist other reaesrchers in uncovering more relationships and truths. With this open access system, it could accelarate the progress of discovering these facts and truths and hence improving and beneficial to research on the society and mankind.

Reducing the need of paying for unrelevant articles

Openess in distributing onine articles freely could reduce the need of paying for unrelevant articles. When abstracts or summaries for articles are not clearly written, mistaken people that chose to purchase these online articles would have wasted their money! Hence with openess of the web,materials that are published free online could clearly understand the article and such scenerios such as paying for unrelevant articles could be avoided.


Pitfalls for Researchers and publishers

When facing an open access system, Companies or institutions that focus heavily on research might face increase expenditures on online journals or scholar articles ,whereas those that focuses more on education would face a decrease in expenditure and cost. Hence this could be disadvantages to research companies as they are constantly getting no monetary returns for their work.

In addition it could be plagarism of work. Researchers that put much effort in researching and eventually publishing them online, only finding out that their hard work is copied and claimed as the work of others. It could be seen as unethical as plagarism of work is unfair to those who has placed effort in writing and doing their research work, whereas those that has made no contribution to the research benefitted freely without any cost, what’s worse is to claim the work as their own.

Damaging the publishing market

It is believed that the open access system model is not economically sustainable as it could damage the publishing market as publishing companies might face financial difficulties due to reduced revenue.

In a nutshell, open access system expedites the efficiency in research whereas bringing the worries of plagiarism and lack of innovation. However personally I believe that the motives of users will eventually determine whether it is good or bad to enjoy free access to online materials.

References, (2014). Nature web focus: Access to the literature: the debate continues. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].

Wiley, D., Green, C. and Soares, L. (2012). Dramatically Bringing down the Cost of Education with OER: How Open Education Resources Unlock the Door to Free Learning. Center for American Progress. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2014].


9 thoughts on “Topic5: Openness to free access to online materials

  1. Hi Amanda,

    Like how you break the content down into small categories and explained it well. I couldn’t help but to agree with what you have said, ‘the motives of users will eventually determine whether it is good or bad to enjoy free access to online materials’. However, what kind of motives of users are you referring to? This post is neat and simple (:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Amanda!
    Nice reading your post. I like the idea on how you feel that open access creates a system whereby it benefits the educational system for not only the rich but also the poor. I agree to this idea to a large extent. This is because if only the rich are able to get this access while the poor could not afford, it will create an unfair platform for students to achieve academic excellence.
    Though it is true that making free access to online content creates pitfalls for publishers, we also have to realize that the cost of producing online content now is much cheaper than in the past, as stated in my post. Therefore this might not be such a critical issue. However, the sustainability is definitely an issue.
    Also I realize that you seem to take a stand those publishers would only face disadvantages – as your post shows that all the disadvantages relates to publishers only. However I feel that there are also benefits for publishers like creating credibility and the chance to improve their work etc with open access too!
    What do you think about it?!
    I love your post, enjoy reading it! Have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for commenting! I shared your view that open access will allow poorer students to benefit more. In economic terms, there is a link between wealthiness and literacy-rate in the country. This is what i have found >

    While research institution/companies have limited funds, some authors will actually pay to have their works published on prestige journals. In contrast, universities are struggling against rising subscription costs. See this example by Jessica-Peacock (uosm 2033) post –

    I beg to differ that publisher revenue will be affected due to open access. In the internet era, there is a growing trend of ‘author’ pay model whereby an author will pay the publisher to have their works published, and the publisher in return will help maintain the website and provide open/closed access materials to readers. In this sense, they got their revenue both from ‘author’ and ‘reader’, i believe they have get the best of both worlds!
    You can read more here at >
    Don’t you think so ?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Amanda!

    Clear and concise post you have, enjoyed reading it!

    Despite many articles and views that materials online should be shared freely and made available for anyone at anytime, I do agree that it could bring about this limitation- plagiarism.

    I feel that this is something that we should all consider when thinking about the disadvantages of free access. It is certainly annoying and discourages the original authors as they have spent so much effort to produce their own works, and in turn, have them copied and others claiming it as their work. It could even bring rise to another concern – these authors or researches may stop sharing their materials online because they didn’t get their well-deserved recognition!

    In Charmaine’s blog (, she mentioned the concept of Creative Commons, do you think this would help the problem of plagiarism? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Open Access – YES please! | jeanne

  6. Pingback: Reflection on Topic 5: Should online materials be FREE? | yiming@ SotonMANG2049

  7. Hi Amanda,

    Had an enjoyable time reading your blog post, the way you classify your content into different headings made it clear and easy to read.

    “The key to writing is something to be stolen. How else does one open the door to a house of thieves?” ― Anthony Marais. It is discouraged to hear how the work of researchers are being plagiarized after putting in so much effort in their work. What makes it more disheartening is when someone take credits of the authors’ work when they barely contributed anything. Since plagiarism is a serious yet frequent problem, I think everyone needs to know the importance of crediting the original publisher, just like what we’ve learnt in MANG2049, where we cite references to honor the publisher’s effort and work.

    Overall, you shared interesting advantages and disadvantages of openness to free access to online materials. However, what is your stand? Are you more geared towards open access or pay-to-view/paid access? Would love to hear your views on this 🙂

    Have a good day!


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Takeaway for Topic 5: Open Access- Good or Bad? | Angie Ng

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