5 Key Benefits Of Open Access For eLearning

5 Key Benefits of Open Access For eLearning
Summary: Open Access, means free, unrestricted online access to scholarly research. This opens up the world of peer reviewed academic publications to the whole world and can provide a wealth of high quality, freely available material which is perfect for use in eLearning. Read on to explore the benefits of Open Access and how you can benefit from using the wide array of resources available.

The Benefits Of Open Access For eLearning

  1. It’s Free!
    There are no costs involved in reading open access articles at all; no subscriptions or pay per download fees or any hidden costs. The costs of subscription based journals have risen up to four time faster than inflation since the 1980s (Open Access Overview). Open Access provides a quality and affordable alternative.
  2. Easy and Convenient - Open Access Articles can be accessed by anyone, anywhere.
    Open access online publications can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. You do not need to be a member of an institution such as university or pay high subscription fees to access journals and articles, nor are you restricted to only being able to access articles via networked computers in public libraries. Open Access articles and journals are available worldwide, with no geographic restrictions. This all means that Open Access is much easier to use than alternatives such as inter-library loans or wrangling with expensive and complicated usage restrictions.
  3. High Quality
    Open Access work is peer reviewed to the same high standards as the traditional model of subscription based journals. It is published by world leading experts and affiliated to institutions such as universities, research councils and governments. With an open access you can be sure the information you are getting is of high quality.
  4. Articles Are Free To Use For Teaching Purposes
    Open Access articles have little or no restrictions on providing articles for teaching purposes, only the URL need be provided to ensure compliance with copyright. This makes Open Access articles perfect to use for E-Learning courses as they are free and easily distributed online; there is no need to pay a fee for permission to use articles in lessons or to distribute copies to students.
  5. Open Access is growing fast
    The term ‘Open Access’ was first coined in the early 2000s and it has grown rapidly since, the number of publications and articles available via open access is increasing, spurred on by government funding, many countries now require publicly funded research to be Open Access. Many universities, institutions and research funding bodies now require researchers to provide access to their research through Open Access repositories. All seven UK research councils have adopted an open access model and many private foundations such as The Wellcome Trust publish their research under Open Access and world leading universities such as Harvard, MIT, University College London and the University of Edinburgh require research to be available through Open Access repositories. A number of studies show that the number of Open Access journals and articles has increased rapidly since the early 2000s and this trend looks set to continue (Open Access Growth).

Open access fits in perfectly with not only the practicalities of eLearning but the ethos of widening participation and access to education. Open Access materials are perfect for all kinds of e-learning uses including MOOCs (massive online open courses) as well as smaller, closed courses, Open Access articles can be used easily by students and teachers a like. By using Open Access you can be sure you are getting high quality articles covering the latest research and developments across many disciplines including the sciences, business, the humanities and the arts.