Open access – Advantages and Disadvantages

Every student, at some point will access the Internet and Google for examples of good essays from the top universities, company reports that may support the analysis of your project work and even articles that are useful for referencing. Just like what I am doing for this module, many of my contents are being found online and all these is made possible thanks to the information that is being published on the Internet for free! And I mean, free, without even having to give your credit card number or any particulars about yourself.


Learning is made free for everyone now. As long as you have access to the Internet, there are tons of information anyone can search for. There are even e-textbooks available online, so students can read and gather more knowledge without having to pay extra money just to get a textbook in its physical form.

It is easily accessible, saves time and anyone can read it anywhere on-the-go. For example, you can download e-textbook or ebooks and read it on your tablets or phones. On top of that, we are able to search the content we want using keywords, either Google it or Ctrl + F on a pdf file and it saves way more time than having to flip through pages.

Traditional publication methods no more and this saves the Earth. How? Imagine if we can only obtain information from the library, this means that before information is being published out, they will have to get edited and approved. With the Internet, there’s no need to have it in ink and paper, and having to worrying about mass production which saves the Earth. Upload one copy on the internet and thousands of readers can have access to it at the same time. This leads to the last point – international.

Content goes international. This increases readership and people from all over the world can have access to your work and share it with others. When the writer’s work is being recognised, he/she may sees it as a window of opportunity from a company. Like the previous topic I’ve touched on, companies are constantly hunting for the best and you never know if the company just happen to chance upon the writer’s work and liked it.


Having free online access means that there is lack of quality control. The article that you have just read may not be authentic, probably just “voices” or thoughts on something that is debatable. Some website are not reliable as any user can edit the information they think is wrong and replace it with their own words. Therefore, not everything we read on the Internet is true or factual, unless there is substantial proofs or citing.

Lastly, who is going to pay for the publishing fee? Most of the cases, the author is going to pay for the publication fee, and usually they would only receive a recognition for their work. Because readers do not have to fork out a single cents to read the information published online, the author will be the person who has to pay for the publication fee.


Personally, having free online access benefits me a lot, especially when I have to do research on certain topics or school project. What I think we can do is to list down where we get our information from under the reference list or cite it, this gives recognition to the author’s work. After all, I believe online access will serve greater purposes to everyone in the near future.


Brown, A. (2012). Open access: why academic publishers still add value. The Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 9 December, 2014]

Gatti, R. (2012). Open Access: ‘we no longer need expensive publishing networks’. The Guardian. Available at: [Accessed on December 9, 2014]

Geib, A. (2013). Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access. edanz. Available at: [Accessed December 9, 2014]

Robby Piels (2014). Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Textbooks Online. 10TopTenREVIEWS. Available at: [Accessed on December 9, 2014]

Shockey, N. and Eisen, J.(2012). Open Access Explained! Youtube. Available at: [Accessed December 9, 2014]


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