Review: Let’s Be Open About…

I came across many petitions worldwide urging signatures to support OA (Open Access). Many of such constituencies can be found online, passionate for this movement.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 8.01.15 pm

(Picture Source: The White House Petition on Open Access to Research)

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(Picture Source: EFF Action Petition for Online Access)

What fuels this need for the petitions?

A great takeaway from Kai Yuan’s post is that the ‘quality’ most people would associate with Non-OA access is subjective. What may be seen as valuable to an author may not be equally valued by another author! How exactly should research be quantified with a monetary value? There isn’t a fixed criterion to grade how content should be priced, thus creating controversy over pricings.

Moreover, Siew Woon introduced that people in desperate situations will resort to downloading restricted files illegally. Authors of CA (Closed Access) may not even get their due compensation. I’d reinforce that compensation doesn’t always come in a financial form. As from my Blogilates, Casey Ho example, the fame she received from OA kick-started her business. Therefore, knowledge circulated freely could benefit content producers in other ways too!

They both regarded OA as a privilege, especially to developing countries where poverty is significant. Restricting access to materials could cordon off this group when affordability is an issue. Does that mean that they cannot participate in worldwide research, neglecting their input and their intelligence that could be important?

As much as OA is advocated for, CA remains an option. Jun Wai made a point that some authors want to be ‘high-profiled’ through CA. Clinton has well proved that ‘nothing is free’, the decision should come from the creator of the content, whether they want to be compensated or not. He believes that activism should not power the authors’ decision towards OA, as some people will pay for online materials as they do for printed materials.

Whether content should be OA or CA, it really depends on the content producer’s  justification of his effort and reward.

Well, to each his own!

(315 words, excluding in-text citations and references)

Here are my comments for Kai Yuan and Siew Woon.


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