Reflections: Five

This week’s topic was one I struggled with slightly, perhaps because I found it harder to agree with the opposing side to open access. Comments on my post definitely alerted me towards the benefits of paywalls, and whilst I can understand fully why a creator would want money to improve the quality and or quantity of content or research, I am a natural consumer in the situation and therefore my focus will be on consuming. Zachary’s post was one that I resonated with, because his introduction of advertisement as opposed to paywalls was something that one; I could relate to (as it’s something I’m increasingly starting to see on pretty much all media platforms) and two, I spoke about in my own post. He referenced Buzzfeed as a news platform that uses commission from advertising, which I then compared with my own reference to YouTube, however I questioned whether these platforms favour these systems because they are entertainment based rather than educational.

I took a more contemporary approach to the topic of open access, and where most blog posts focused on education, I focused on content/information in general, Wikipedia, Youtube, and more entertainment focused forms of content and information. I did this to make my post different and more relevant to a reader’s everyday life (other than just a student who will see the topic in reference to education or writing an essay,) however, I definitely could have considered the educational argument to achieve a more conclusive blog post overall. Luckily, other blogs such as Harry’s took a statistical & analytical approach which made learning about and understanding open access much easier, and his comment on the impacts of open access on education systems in developing countries was definitely an important one. I commented that it is easy to forget other cultural benefits of things when in the UK education we are exposed to a very wide range of very good quality resources. This reinforced my opinion that Open Access can only be good, however he argued that it is more beneficial in LEDCs and less in MEDCs due to Institutions, schools and universities having good provision of resources, however I questioned where the line should be drawn, and I wonder exactly what type of country or institution can be classed as good enough to do without open access.

Overall I would definitely say that I have more research to do on the topic of Open Access (which I might add literally requires Open Access – cough cough) but I’m certain my thinking will stay the same. In a free society where the world wide web has literally become a museum with admittance free for all, I can’t personally imagine now being forced to pay for it or kept behind a paywall to access information I can literally find for free on the next web page at one tap of my trackpad.

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