The Price of Open

Early in our LRNT 502 Introduction to Research course we received an invitation to visit Academia.edu.  My first impression was not a positive one.  Faced with a login screen, I signed in with my Google account and immediately began receiving unsolicited email.  I searched for reviews and found negative comments on an otherwise positive review (Academia.edu reviews – legit or scam?, 2015) about the service’s practice of data gathering on members, even suggesting that it might be illegal (Jason, 2015; Charles, 2015). Further searches for information on the service identified no more spam issues however, and I realize that the two negative comments posted on the same date may not reflect independent opinions or reliable information.

The remaining information I found focused on the issue discussed in Wecker’s (2014) review about takedown notices from journals objecting to copyrighted materials being posted for free distribution.  While I strongly agree with Stephen Downes that publicly funded research should be open (2016), I also agree with Banchetti’s (2012) comments “Copyright is copyright” and “Publishing is a business” (n.p.) arguing that authors must respect the terms of copyright agreements they sign with a journal. Ever the champion of open access, even Downes recognizes that someone must pay, and argues that open educational resources (OER) require a sustainability model if they are to replace a paid publication and distribution system (2006).  Academia.edu’s data mining still seems invasive (I now have an unsolicited follower), but that may be one sustainability model showing the price of open.

 

References

Academia.edu Reviews – Legit or Scam? (2015). Retrieved August 7, 2016, from http://www.reviewopedia.com/academia-edu-reviews

Banchetti, M. (2012). Re: Should you share your research on academia.edu? [Blog comment] Retrieved August 7, 2016 from https://chroniclevitae.com/news/345-should-you-share-your-research-on-academia-edu

Charles, G. (2015, November 13). Re: Academia.edu reviews – Legit or scam? [Blog comment]. Retrieved August 7, 2016 from http://www.reviewopedia.com/academia-edu-reviews

Downes, S. (2006). Models for sustainable 0pen educational resources. Retrieved August 7, 2016, from http://nparc.cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/view/object/?id=dfac7874-dbe9-40f9-8f06-3212ef05ddf8

Downes, S. (2016, June 17). Canada’s new plan on open government 2016-2018. Retrieved from http://www.downes.ca/post/65460

Jason. (2015, November 13). Re: Academia.edu reviews – Legit or scam? [Blog comment]. Retrieved August 7, 2016 from http://www.reviewopedia.com/academia-edu-reviews

Wecker, M. (2014). Should you share your research on Academia.edu? Retrieved from https://chroniclevitae.com/news/345-should-you-share-your-research-on-academia-edu

 

 

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Community Adult Educator & Adult Literacy Instructor
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