Topic 5: Reflection

Having initially found Topic 5 challenging I was not only glad I could learn more about the topic from my peers, but also overwhelmed by the positive feedback I received for my contribution.

For me, the biggest learning curve of Topic 5 came from a plethora of discussion with Callum.

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Callum’s subsequent comment on my blog allowed for a more in depth discussion in which I could learn of Callum’s troubles with I had not come across the same issue; hitting a pay wall, so I decided to give it another go and was horrified to have, like Callum, hit a pay wall.

I have also used Callum’s idea of a screen recording to illustrate this and have uploaded it to my newly created YouTube channel.

Furthermore, my comment on Callum’s post led to a discussion about violation of copyright in repositories. I initially questioned Callum’s argument of this having found a contradicting article online, however Callum quickly responded with an explanation of his reasons to which I developed, bringing the work of Grant, Webb and Bustillo (2015) to his attention. I subsequently proposed the question that is it due to a lack of funding in universities for example, the reason why robust policies cannot be created to avoid this occurrence of violation?

This brings me onto my next point; Rebecca, Callum and Ollie all posed the question as to why more people aren’t using OA. An interesting question, as like I pointed out, it appears that there is more than enough information for an informed decision to be made, however maybe it is due to the concerns raised by Callum regarding copyright violation that more people aren’t using OA?

Since this I have decide to create a Creative Commons License for my work as I would like people to re-use my work and develop on it, however I am not overly enthused by the idea that someone could reproduce it passing it off as their own.

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Finally, my comment on Cherie’s post taught me about Intellectual Property (IP) which is something I hadn’t come across in my research. I did however question her disadvantage that it may not reach as wide a, bringing the work of the n audience World Intellectual Property Organisations New Open Access Policy.

“WIPO has adopted an Open Access Policy in support of its commitment to the sharing and dissemination of knowledge, and to make its publications easily available to the widest possible audience”.

Overall, Topic 5 has provided a wide range of critical discussion; both with the points outlined in the post and from my discussion with Will. I have learnt so much more than I ever could have on my own, and the point I made in my comment on Callum’s post regarding his PowToon encapsulates this perfectly.


Grant, R., Webb, S. and Bustillo, M. (2015) ‘A consideration of copyright for a national repository of humanities and social science data’, Library Information Research, 39(121), pp. 22-44. Available at: (Accessed: 12 May 2017).


Hit a brick wall

While it can be argued that one of the main purposes of the internet is to share, and receive information with ease, it has been noted that the current scientific model, dating back to the 1600s, makes this process somewhat challenging (Tracz and Lawrence, 2016).

According to Mayyasia (2013) scientist follow a ‘consistent pattern’ that has almost become institutionalised.

Although this act of publishing seems to enable people all over the world to gain access to research, often these papers are sat behind a paywall and subscriptions to these have increased massively. This article illustrates some of these horrifying statistics.

As it is impossible to buy access to every journal students must pay the price in losing out on core journals having to use what is available not necessarily what they need (Right to Research, 2010). Many universities are cancelling subscriptions because of this, thus lowering the pool of educational resources rather than increasing it.

As a student, I am all too familiar with that gut wrenching feeling you get when you finally find the perfect journal you have spent hours trying to locate to be told you can’t access it unless you pay an extortionate amount of money.

However, there are several solutions to this increasingly prominent problem; such as,, Open Education Recourses and Open Access Mega Journals, which are placed under the term ‘Open Access’.

So, what is Open Access?

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Wiley (2014).

Although, open access seems like a notoriously obvious solution to a problem faced by so many, it does however come with both advantages and disadvantages.

Below I have created an Infographic using Venngage recommended by @S2Hewitt on Twitter.

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For me, one of the biggest issues with Open Access is its ability to enable another user to republish your work without seeking permission (Tennant et al. 2016).

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However, from the above discussion I was able to learn about the NON-PROFIT organisation ‘Creative Commons’ which if used in conjunction with Open Access would enable scientific research to be shared more openly and easily enabling new ideas and creations to happen (Gulley, 2013).

Having said that, I agree with several of the disadvantages outlined by Beall (2015) which are supported by Osbourne (2013) suggesting that while Open Access appears all kosher on the surface there are several hidden issues with the model disguised behind the masses of Internet pings in favour of it. While I agree with both sides of the argument I believe, it goes without saying that regardless of the many issues outlined there are however far more benefits and I agree with several points outlined by Shockey and Eisen (2012) in their YouTube video.

I think the metaphor below neatly sums up these opposing models.


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Open Access

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Word count: 384


Beall, J. (2015) What the Open-Access Movemnet Doesn’t Want You To Know. Available at:’t-want-you-know#.WQ8mPhiZN0t (Accessed: 7 May 2017).

Gulley, N. (2013) ‘Creative Commons: challenges and solutions for researchers; a publisher’s perspective of copyright in an open access enviroment’, Insights, 26(2). Available at: (Accessed: 7 May 2017).

Mayyasia,  A. (2013) Why is Science Behind a Paywall. Available at:  (Accessed: 7 May 2017).

Osbourne, R. (2013) ‘Why open access makes no sense, The Guardian, 8 July. Available at: (Accessed: 7 May 2017).

Right to Research (2010) The Problem: Students can’t access essential research. Available at: (Accessed: 7 May 2017).

Shockley, N. and Eisen, J. (2012) Open Access Explained. Available at: (Accessed: 7 May 2017).

Tennant, J.P., Waldner, F., Jacques, D.C., Masuzzo, P., Collister, L.B. and Hartgerink, H.J.(2016) ‘The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review’, F1000Research, 5(632). Available at: (Accessed: 7 May 2017).

Tracz, V. and Lawrence, R. (2016) ‘Towards an open science publishing platform’, F100Research, 5(130). Available at: (Accessed: 7 May 2017).

Wiley. (2014) Understanding Open Access. Available at: (Accessed: 7 May 2017).