Topic 5- Should Research Papers be Open Access?

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The following video highlights what open access is and relates it back to my topic of discussion in research papers:

Open Access can either take the Gold or Green route:

Gold- Immediate access to everyone free of charge. This is achieved through charging the author/funder or institution.

Green- Papers are still supplied to publishers initially, but after an embargo period of around 6-24 months the papers are deposited to a repository, for example an institutions repository and available to all.


(Infographic created by Jordan Dan)

The infographic below shows why Open Access is necessary?


(Content: Jill Cirasella. Graphics: Les Larue. License: Creative Commons: Attribution, Non-Commercial).


(Created by Author: Jordan Dan)


In conclusion, I think the benefits of sharing content outweigh the downside to creators. This is supported by the government in their decision in 2012 to side with the research provided in the Finch reports (Finch, 2012)- and support clear policy recommendations of “gold” open access research publications.

Not only would it lead to a greater amount of innovation and discoveries for content producers; but additionally would benefit individuals directly from having greater availability to research and thus improve their knowledge.


Anon, (2017). [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Daniels, J. and Daniels, J. (2017). Introducing: Open Access Series – JustPublics@365. [online] JustPublics@365. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

England, H. (2017). What is open access? – Higher Education Funding Council for England. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Finch, J. (2012). Finch report. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Jun. 2012]. (2017). Open Access and Copyright. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017]. (2017). The Access/Impact Problem and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access: Serials Review: Vol 30, No 4. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

the Guardian. (2017). Why open access should be a key issue for university leaders. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Wiley, L. (2017). Dramatically Bringing down the Cost of Education with OER: How Open Education Resources Unlock the Door to Free Learning.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

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


2 thoughts on “Topic 5- Should Research Papers be Open Access?

  1. Hi Jordan,

    Thanks for a great post, I love your use of graphics to get your ideas across in an accessible way. I wonder what opinions you might have regarding a couple of further points.

    Firstly, because ‘gold’ publishing is when an author or institution pays to publish, rather than the current model of paying on consumption. You mention that this could cause people to create worse quality research, as some of their funding is spent on publishing fees. While this is true, I would argue that this is unlikely to be greater than the cost of retrieving all the papers required for them to do their research in the first place. A typical paper has many references but is only published once. For example, Harvard spends over $3.5million a year on journal subscriptions! (see Do you agree with this? Furthermore, I also argue that pay to publish is not the only possible business model for Open Access. Advertising, for example, could also be used (see

    Secondly, Open Access allows greater transparency for science. This is best illustrated in the case of UEA climate research, which was hidden from the public (see a good summary here, Therefore, the arguments around Open Access go right to the heart of science and aren’t simply about money. Do you think this should be a priority for sensitive areas such as medical research or climate change?

    Thanks again for a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mark,
      Firstly, I would definitely agree with you on your point of the importance in sharing knowledge to lead to greater Scientific discoveries! And would definitely put the importance on new breakthroughs being more important that the economical gains journals can benefit. Furthermore, I think you have hit the nail on the head with priority going to the most important issues as these needs the most urgent attention- for example like you climate change.

      In terms of gold access meaning the author/ institute has to pay. If this were to come out of the author’s pocket I believe this could potentially have a detrimental affect as he now has less funds available. However, the point you raise is a very fair one in these costs being offset as he now has free access to the open access material. I would further pinpoint this argument down to the specific case of of when the institution would pay for journals (for the research of non OE resources), but the author would be forced to pay the uploading fee.

      Great discussion!
      Look forward to reading your future blogs!


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