Open access has been the traditional method for retrieving information for quite some time until digitisation rapidly increased meaning we access data differently and the price of research has risen astoundingly. Now, we do not necessarily have ‘open access’ on a lot of online content in today’s society because journal companies are charging an unexplainable amount of money for the information (PHDComics, 2012)

Journal prices have outpaced inflation by 250% over the past 30 years

We are currently in a vicious circle when it comes to acquiring information. We are suppose to be learning from other articles and studies so that we are able to learn, educate and develop arguments. These articles are no longer easily accessible and just to read the information that other researchers have discovered, we need to pay an unjust amount. We do not even know if the journal articles we are buying are going to be useful or credible (PHDComics, 2012). To rub salt in the wounds, there is no way of getting your money back if the article you just read was useless and invalid. You could end up paying hundreds or even thousands just to find research that is irrelevant.

Advantages and Disadvantages of ‘open access’


Has Open Access completely vanished in other online industries?

One source suggested that 90% of online content would be held behind paywalls before 2017 (Lepitak, 2013), but a lot of companies have not implemented a paywall yet. For example, BBC news is still readily available to access without having to pay for a subscription, where as you now need to pay to read other newspapers such as the Financial Times (Jackson, 2015).

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that provides licensing tools that are free to use, so that if you want your research or data to be accessible and re-usable to other people that share interest in that field, creative commons allows you to refine the copyright so that your data is essentially ‘open access’ (WatchNowUK, 2012).

Knowledge Economy

This short video will help you further understand the importance of ‘open access’. More and more countries are adopting the concept of ‘knowledge economy’ in which education is a main focal point within societies. If information was more open, we could see vast long term economical improvements for our own society (ISETchannel, 2015).

If you are interested in a specific field then you should be passionate about sharing what you have discovered. More people can use this knowledge to learn; discover additional things. We shouldn’t need to go through external publishers in order to make work credible and you should be more concerned as a researcher to spread your ideas/intellect in a fast manner.

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ISETchannel (2015). Knowledge Economy Visualized. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Jackson, J. (2015). Financial Times to change way it charges for online content. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Lepitak, S. (2013). 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests. [online] The Drum. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

PHD Comics (2012). Open Access Explained!. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

WatchNowUK (2012). Creative Commons & Copyright Info. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].