Topic 5 Reflection

Final topic post last Sunday, now for my final reflection post and this weeks topic was just as interesting and eyeopening as the rest. It was all about open access and the pros and cons of it. I thought it was funny how much this topic related to me at this time. Since it is coming to the end of the semester, its means assignments and exams are pretty much the only things on my mind ad one of the struggles of these assignments is that often I can not get access to relevant literature that may help me with these assignments or make them better. This is due to restrictions that some journals and other documents have. However, from reading other peoples posts this week, I have learnt i am not alone in this struggle. For my last blog post, I really wanted to use this opportunity to to use another way of creating interesting visuals. Therefore, this week, i used a website called canva.com to create a graphic to displays the pros and cons of sharing work on the internet and the pros and cons of restricting access to your work. I really liked using this website as it was simple to use but gave me lots of tools to make my graphic look exactly how i wanted it to. In the blog itself, i wish id gone into more detail on open access, as reading other peoples blogs from this week, i learnt a lot more interesting facts that i did not pick up in my own research. For example in Patricia’s blog i learnt that 40% of scientists had concerns about the quality of open access publications, and this figure dropped to 27% a year later. I thought that this was a really interesting statistic and so I opened up discussion on this by commenting. However, in my post i did research about IP and Creative Commons and so I feel like even though i could have learnt more about open access, learning about these other ways of sharing data was actually really valuable.

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Explain the advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online…

The internet is a great way of sharing your work with the world and getting the exposure you desire. However, it does of course have its downsides. Putting your own content online means that millions of people can have access to it meaning they can also use your content without permission, or even worse, claim it as their own work. However there are ways of preventing things like this from happening such as open access, creative commons, and IP. They all help content producers in different ways, some offering more protection to the producers content than others.

What is open access? “Open access is about making the products of research freely accessible to all.”(England) This means that the information is free to read and also that there are very few restrictions on reusing it. This brings many advantages to many users of open access. It is useful to authors, because it means that people will be able to access their work easily and so this means more people will see their work.  It is useful to readers because they will have access to more useful information and finally it is useful to funders as they will have funded research and open access will allow it to reach a wider audience.

What is Creative Commons? “Creative Commons is a non profit organisation that works to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) available in “the commons” — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.”(“What Is Intellectual Property?”) Many people can use creative commons from individuals to universities and leading technology companies. Creative Commons licenses works by allowing people to easily change their copyright terms from the default of all rights reserved to some rights reserved. This benefits both the producer and researcher because it allows researchers to use the content but still ensures that the producer still owns the content and will gain recognition from it.

What is IP? IP is short for Intellectual property, it “refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.”(“What Is Intellectual Property?”) IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which means that people can earn recognition from what they invent and create and even gain a financial benefit. Intellectual property can be divided into two sections -industrial property and copyright. This type of system works well for both the producers and researchers. It works well for the producers because it rewards them for the content they have worked hard to create and it works well for researchers because it gives the producers the incentive to keep creating useful and enjoyable content.

In conclusion, for a content producer that doesn’t want their work used without reward or recognition, they should choose the route of IP or Creative Commons where their work will be protected. Open access is still a great tool for reaching an even larger audience however it comes with the risk of it being stolen.

Copy of Pros and Cons of making content freely accessible online

References

N.p., 2017. Web. 7 May 2017.

N.p., 2017. Web. 7 May 2017.

England, Higher. “What Is Open Access? – Higher Education Funding Council For England”. Hefce.ac.uk. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 May 2017.

“What Is Intellectual Property?”. Wipo.int. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 May 2017.

“What Is Open Access?”. http://www.springer.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 May 2017.