Monday, May 27, 2013

OpenAccess for World-Wide Education and Training

The number of people with the desire, focus, and energy to learn skills that require considerable rigor far exceeds the resources that would be required to educate and train those people. By this I mean that the capacity is there (both in the person and the institutions) but the funding is not. This is especially the case with people in less wealthy countries.
One of the cost issues lies in access to the literature. Many authors and others concerned with education and training have recognized the problems that come about when commercial publishers (for-profit and non-profit) get control of the world's intellectual output. Thus, those who produce that output are increasingly turning to OpenSource, CreativeCommons, OpenAcess, GeneralPublic, and PublicDomain styles of licensing. The internet has created a connected world. Within that world, it is relatively easy to produce, store, and index books, articles, seminars, and even entire courses. Additionally, print-on-demand presents a cost-effective means of producing a physical product when that is desired.
I was asked by the University of Zimbabwe, Department of Computer Science, to design a course that would retain rigor and quality study material while not depending on a traditional textbook. You are welcome to read what I found out about freely-accessible material that maintains quality while controlling costs.


  1. Thats very true you find that ,here in Africa it might be difficult to get a recently published paper in a journal due to subscriptions issues.

  2. OpenAccess and other such sources may require registration but there are no registration nor subscription fees. If a source demands an access fee then they are a commercial publisher, something entirely different. As the OpenAccess movement evolves there are sure to be commercial publishers who will try to make themselves look like OpenAccess while still collecting access fees.

    It is normal for OpenAccess publishers to collect page fees from authors. This is a normal practice even with commercial publishers. In the end, income is required to support publication.

    It is true that OpenAccess sources go not give access to commercially-published papers.