This week’s topic discussed free access to online content. My post focused on open access which is when knowledge is shared freely and without most licensing restrictions. Correspondingly, Figure 1 illustrates the process of writing my topic 5 post.
Figure 1. The process of writing topic 5
Accordingly, open access mainly applies to academic research; which allowed me to explore the knowledge economy and how open access assists in the facilitation of this; by providing less economically developed countries with the academic knowledge that they need to elevate. However, the limitation of open access is that it comes at the expense of the researcher’s revenue through charging publication costs. Following this Figure 2. provides a summary of open access.
Figure 2. Summarises the benefits of open access
Furthermore, in my post I briefly evaluated other platforms that content producers could make free online such as television programs and music but, I failed to explore this in depth. Nonetheless, reading my colleagues posts gave me a greater understanding on this area.
Consistently, this week I looked at the archives for some inspiration, Rofini’s post focused entirely on music and from this I found that music artists often release free mix tapes for greater exposure. In most cases, this results in later purchase as successfully shown by hip-hop artists Wale and J.Cole. Further to this point, I think releasing free music as well as product placements in music videos are integral for the career success and financial profit of music artists. Especially because we are now in a different time from the days of CD and iTunes purchasing additionally, illegal downloads and piracy are easily accessible. Relatedly, music video product placements are exemplified in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Product Placement in Nicki Minaj music videos for Addidas and Mate Fit tea respectively
What do you think ?
Moreover, in my post I highlight the work of the council for the European Union and I also suggested that the disadvantages of open access can be overcome by reducing the prices of paywalls. Although, this solution is still problematic and does not entirely alleviate the socio-economic divide that is associated with paywalls, it is a start and can help to form a scientific publishing model that is free to access yet generates revenue for researchers! However, Sharon’s post acknowledges charities such as Wellcome which pay open access fees. This challenged my original solution and motivated me to research other charities of this kind; in which I came across the Research Councils UK and other private funders. However, these charities mainly fund scientific research which I commented on her post. Thus, more work still needs to be done to ensure the equality of funding for all academic fields.
Comparatively, some companies ask for a donation from their users to keep their services free. This has been popularly shown by Wikipedia and also by the Guardian online as displayed in Figure 4.
Figure 4. The Guardian newspaper’s user donation plea
Conclusively, additional work needs to be done to ensure the access of free online content that does not come at the expense of content producers. Thus far, product placements, open access charities and user donations are just some of the ways in which progress is being made.
Figure 5. An evaluation of topic 5
Word count: 301
Featured image: Flickr: Fizhou 1 2012
Figure 1. Self-produced on piktochart
Figure 4. extracted from Bustle Media
Figure 5. Self produced on piktochart
Caramanica, J. (2011). For Mac Miller, Wale and J. Cole, Free Music Pays Off. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 13 May 2017, from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/19/arts/music/for-mac-miller-wale-and-j-cole-free-music-pays-off.html
Home – Research Councils UK. (2014). Research Councils UK. Retrieved 13 May 2017, from http://www.rcuk.ac.uk