Reflection | Topic 5

As an undergrad at the University of Southampton, I’ve had my fair share of searching for academic journals online. Without the availability of free academic writings that I’ve found online, god knows how long it would’ve taken me to look through traditional print journals or how much I would’ve spent on paid journals online instead. Thus, this topic of open access (OA) and freely available online content hits close to home.


Open Access Illustration (

In the research that I’ve conducted for my post, I’ve discovered many benefits of open access, but there were a few setbacks I found that I’ve not pondered about before.

A video explaining predatory publishing or pseudo-academic journals

For instance, I’ve discovered about pseudo-academic journals when commenting on Renee’s post, and this has highlighted the importance of checking the credibility of the content of these open access academic journals.


A screenshot from Tuesday Bessen’s Instagram (

Besides the academic context, Renee’s post shed light on a disadvantage to content producers for making their material freely available online; the vulnerability of intellectual theft, as with Tuesday Bassen. As a creative who publishes content online myself, this danger is more apparent than I had previously thought it was.

Isaac’s post and comment highlighted how the benefits to a content producer from making content freely available online may only be experienced in the long term, due to the lack of initial payment, and funding problems which I have covered.

Self-made video about Green OA vs Gold OA

Apart from pros and cons, Nicol’s post educated me on the differences between Gold – ‘pay to publish’ – and Green – ‘accepted manuscript’ – OA. In writing my post, I’ve also fully understood the purpose and different types of Creative Commons licenses, which I felt was important to me as a graphic designer.

At the end of Topic 5, I’ve learnt the importance of knowing how making materials freely available online can benefit or hinder/inconvenience content producers, because as a student as well as a content producer, I should know how to choose and upload content wisely.

[316 words excluding captions]

My comment on Renee’s post

My comment on Isaac’s post


Creative Commons, About The Licenses. Available at: (Accessed: 16 November 2016).

Kolata, G. (2013) For scientists, an exploding world of pseudo-academia. Available at: (Accessed: 16 November 2016).

Puglise, N. (2016) Fashion brand Zara accused of copying LA artist’s designs. Available at: (Accessed: 16 November 2016).

Kieńć, W. (2015) Green OA vs. Gold OA. Which one to choose? Available at:  (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

Wikipedia (2016) ‘Open access’, in Wikipedia. Available at: (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

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