Topic 5: Open Access – Free for you does not mean free for all.


Does this ever happen to you when you were searching for articles for your assignment and you ended up at a website that requires you to pay to read more? You rolled your eyes and decided to just use the similar information you get from Wikipedia. However, do you know that  Wikipedia is part of an Open Access platform? Before you start asking questions on what is Open Access and what are the pros and cons of Open Access, all these will be shared below, follow the post to find out more!

Source : Image created by me ; Piktochart


Open Access refers to online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access and free to be reused, meaning they are not subjected to certain copyright and license restrictions.  The video below describes Open Access in a nutshell.

So what are the benefits of Open Access?

Source : Image created by me ; Piktochart


So how does this benefits the publishers and end users?


  • Exposure to more readers increases readership and visibility.
  • Articles are published sooner than traditional articles
  • More citing enhances visibility and impact of one’s work

End Users

  • Free Accessibility helps developing countries and small or specialized research institutions and corporations who are unable to afford.
  • Strengthens the basis for transfer (education), development (research) and valorization of knowledge.
  • The ability to re-use helps to enhance and accelerate research cycle


However, even the sweetest chocolate expires. There are bound to be negative consequences for everything. Below shows the disadvantages of Open Access.


Source : Image created by me ; Piktochart


  • Will not retain copyright.
  • Misrepresentation by other users might tarnish their image.

End Users

  •  Researchers can be spammed by open access publishers of often dubious quality.


However, the idea of Open Access still gets supported despite the disadvantages.

If there are ideas and things that are worth to preserved and treasured, there will be people who will help to make it happen.

Here are some of the ways how companies help to minimize the negative impact of Open Access:

Eg. How Wiley and other companies fund and  help with the cost of publishing and efforts of open access


Eg.  Copyright Clearance Center partners with other Open Access platforms to provide credibility and copyright issues.

Ultimately, Open Access content does not just revolve around articles and books for researchers but it involves the stuff that we use in our daily life as well such as the videos we watched on YouTube, music we hear from Spotify and posts we read from Facebook/Blogs. Let us do our part by citing and referencing them for their work to encourage the content creators to keep up their good work.

Thank you for reading.

[430 Words]




Home (1956) Advantages and disadvantages of open access. Available at: (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

Ltd, E.G. (2013) Advantages and disadvantages of open access. Available at: (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

Pros and cons (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

2016, S.E. (2016) Benefits of open access. Available at: (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

12 thoughts on “Topic 5: Open Access – Free for you does not mean free for all.

  1. Hi YY!

    Great read on Topic 5! The inforgraphics created have certainly helped me to understand open access better.

    I agree with you where you said open access content does not just revolve around articles and books but also Youtube videos.

    However, I would like to bring up the issue of content producers and Youtube. Recent news states that many idols including Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and more are fighting for better rights as music producers against Youtube due to lesser revenue. Some believe that if there are free music, why would users pay for a subscription? What do you think is a possible solution for this? Personally, I believe that a balance is achievable where producers hold “freemium” items where a couple of songs are free but if you’ll like to listen more, you’ll have to support by purchasing their entire album, though this affects the issue of open access. What do you think? (

    (156 words)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dawn, first of all, thank you for reading my post.

      In my opinion, I believe music producers have the rights to fight for their right however I believe they forgot to weigh the pros and cons of YouTube. Playing music on YouTube can help them to raise awareness for their new song instead of paying much traditional advertisement so it is more of a give and take. However, I agree that they should be protecting their music content on YouTube to prevent piracy.

      In terms of “freemium items”, YouTube, in general, has a huge range of video content (eg, gaming, tutorials, educational, music , sports) so there will be a need for different policies for different contents. As the issue has been raised, perhaps giving them more time could make things happen.


  2. Hello Yy!
    I really like how you made your infographics, making it a lot more clear for me to understand! Kudos to you for separating out the pros and cons for both publisher and end-users. For an end-user like me, I do support the idea of open-access as I face the same issue as you of finding it very troublesome to purchase articles online. Instead of attending courses to learn Photoshop skills and such, I was able to learn them on YouTube! Saves me the trouble!

    However, I read up on this case about Spotify using someone else’s music without getting their permission (1). Many contents created by YouTubers were copied, due to the lack of originality. After hearing all these incidents, it made me feel that the content going around online might be similar with very little originality in it… If you were the person whose work was copied/stolen, will you still create free content to share with the world? If you don’t, you won’t be able to gain as much exposure and recognition compared to those who share… What would you do in this case?


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi YY!
    As you’ve mentioned in your article, Wikipedia is a platform of open access. You then later talked about the the cons of it and how articles could possibly be unreliable and not credible – I definitely agree with this point as anyone and anybody can edit articles on Wikipedia and though it’s great to have a platform full of knowledge, it’s scary to know that many students actually cite wikipedia in their essays, assuming that the source is reliable.

    So what is your stance on Open Access? Because if a platform is providing me with possibly false information, then I rather not use it at all. So do you think we should add a paywall for better quality articles? After all, paying these creators can help encourage them to continue making more content.

    Read this:

    Liked by 1 person

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