Topic 5 – Reflection

This week I explored the method of content release, known as open access. The term itself wasn’t familiar to me however, through my research I was surprised to discover that it was a service that I use often. I used the assessment piece to analyse the positive and negatives of the services as well as incorporate examples. When deciding on examples, I investigated material that I may have overlooked in my initial research and how the content produced would have affected the user.

UOSM2008: Writing for Open Access


To build on self-assessment and self-improvement I developed three aims for this week:

  • To create a moving image to embed into my posts.
  • Continue to create a structure to my posts.
  • To be more responsive to the comments on my posts.

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By reading and commenting on Scott’s post I learnt about news websites and their attitudes and approaches towards the use of paywalls and public perception on the issue (Mitchell, 2017). Additionally, his post allowed me to explore my own thoughts on how open source as a business model could function with or without restriction. Furthermore, through Wil’s post I explored the idea of academic writing as a form of open access material and its benefits to my academic work. From exploring both posts I have concluded that the accessibility of open source is beneficial to the development of content for both users and writers alike.

The bi-weekly posts have now come to an end :(! I have explored and learnt a considerable amount about the online world from Topic 1’s post on digital residents and digital visitors through to investigating my online profile in Topic 3. Yet my time on has not yet concluded as I will be reviewing my journey throughout this module, highlighting my successes and areas of weakness in a reflective post due 26/05.

Word Count: 307


Mitchell, B. (2017). Poynter’s Bill Mitchell on paywalls – how to shape the paid experience. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2017].


Topic 5 – Open Access Material: Is it a positive or a negative tool

Piled Higher and Deeper (2012) highlighted “open access as free immediate online availability of research articles with full reuse rights”. The low reproduction cost of digital material (digitalisation) compared to paper distribution has been a major driving force in the development and spread of open access models.


  • A study conducted by Wiley et al (2012) on behalf of the Centre for American Progress investigated the implications of Open Education Resources (OER) – “educational materials produced by one party that are licensed to be used free of charge by others” – in breaking down the financial barriers to education. They highlighted the success of OER in “maintaining the quality of learning material while significantly reducing the cost of the education”.
  • Open access tools allow content producers to co-create and collaborate with others to improve the quality of the material.


  • As a producer of the material you can lose control over who has access to your product.
  • As a producer of the material you can lose control over how individuals use or modify your service.

Examples of a positive case, Google’s digital garage:

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Example of a negative case, YouTube:

The site provides many benefits to the users from providing entertainment, through ensuring they are kept up to date with news as well as educational material. The streaming service regularly removes content that they believe to be offensive or dangerous however, they have little control over the mass of content uploaded daily and the age of who has access.

In the spring of 2015 a social media challenge emerged where individuals tried to increase the size of their lips to mimic those of Kylie Jenner. Many took to video tutorials available en masse on sites such as YouTube to complete the challenge unaware of the negative health affect.

My Experience with an open access course during my time at university:

During my module MANG2064: Business Research part of our project development was supported through a MOOC via FutureLearn.

Despite the benefits of open access content, a study of 2,700 companies conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners (via Stephen Lepitak, 2013) revealed that “90 per cent of online content would likely be held behind a paywall”. By introducing a subscription fee, you are allowing  a producer to invest more money into producing their content however, you are restricting the accessibility of material to the general population.

Word Count: 384