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Why free education needs free scholarship

Here are four reasons why advocates of OERs should support OA journal literature:

  1. As direct learning content in tertiary education
  2. As “outside-the-classroom” learning content
  3. As learning content for self-learners
  4. As “raw materials” for re-use in free learning content

1. journal literature as direct learning content, particularly in tertiary education

As long as professors assign readings from scholarly journals, learning content will not be fully free if the journal literature is not free.

For the user (the student), the costs of accessing this learning content are non-trivial. 3 The student pays these costs in the purchase of coursepacks, also known as sourcebooks. Coursepacks assemble readings from disparate sources, frequently including journal articles as a significant portion. Unlike a textbook, though, a coursepack is custom-assembled for each class. This gives a professor greater flexibility in selecting readings for her class, but this ability to change the contents of the coursepack destroys the resale market: nobody wants to buy an old coursepack with the wrong readings. Conversely, a student can often hope to recover 50% of the cost of textbooks in resale when the course is completed.

Who profits when students pay these access costs? The copy center or book store will receive a portion. Another portion may go to a rights licensing middleman, such as the Copyright Clearance Center . But most of the revenue will go to the article’s copyright holder – which, as a rule, is the journal publisher, not the article’s author.

Open access cuts out these middlemen: once peer review and editing have been performed, and the article has been published, the article is forever free to the world for educational use.

Other approaches to circumventing the middlemen will not prove as sustainable a solution as OA:

  • Relying on fair use as legal grounds to distribute copies of the articles to students is a perilous position .
  • E-reserves are similarly problematic .
  • “Virtual coursepacks,” which link to copies of the articles in electronic databases via the institution’s library subscriptions, only shift the cost from students to libraries. At a time when libraries have struggled with surging serials costs 4 , this cannot be a sustainable solution, either.

2. journal literature as indirect or “outside-the-classroom” learning content

Journal literature is often encountered in educational contexts other than where an article has been assigned for reading.

Most commonly, a tertiary student will consult journal literature as a source for coursework. Tertiary students are frequently assigned to write research papers which cite articles from scholarly sources, including peer-reviewed journals. The process of conducting this search, filtering and reviewing relevant literature is an educational process. Broad access to this literature enhances the student’s education. Unfortunately, as long as scholarship is disseminated on a “toll-access” basis, some students will be priced out of access. This is particularly notable for students at educational institutions in developing countries 5 .

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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