Open Access in Higher Education

Blog OpenAccess

Open access movement in publishing would have benefited most of us due to its practice of providing unrestricted access via the Internet for the common good. It is mostly applied to scholarly journal articles where they emerge into two categories: (1) Gratis open access – completely free of charge access is provided; and (2) Libre open access – content is delivered free of charge and other usage privileges may be applied.

The benefits of open access revolve around three significant areas as visibility, usage, and impact. Open access enables more people to read and use the publications arising from research, and to accelerate the progress towards a fully open access environment.

On the other side movement of open access to higher education, assuming that all the content is free would be difficult to support financially, ethically, or educationally. The time, energy, and insight required to create, publish, and review original work seems like it should be worth something for the researchers and writers involved in it.

As mentioned above, the open accessibility has its own pros and cons. These attributes of Open Access lead to an uncertainty on how the scholarly journals could find it trustworthy. Such reasons are driving the Universities, Authors and Publishers look for an alternative to open access by protecting their content from piracy and illegal distribution. Tech partners like Adobe and Lektz are providing publishers with this DRM protection mechanism to prevent the scholarly materials from illegal access and distribution.

As the current scenarios are presented above, in my opinion scholarly research requires creative protection mechanisms and solutions that work across disciplines for the benefit of researchers and writers, peer reviewers, funders, publishers, and readers.

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