How Open Access Benefits Students
- Information for a complete education: students in any discipline need access to the latest research to have a complete education of their field of study that will allow them to hit the ground running after graduation. Limited access to research makes students settle for the information that is available rather than what is most relevant – Open Access is necessary to ensure students get the best possible education and are not artificially limited by the selection of scholarly journals their campuses are able to provide.
- Research for papers: it’s a familiar story: you’re writing a paper for class and you need to cite articles from peer-reviewed journals. Eventually, you find an article that looks good — maybe via a search engine, a footnote from another source, or a reference in an index. You search the Web for the full text, but you can’t get past the abstract. You look on your library’s Web site but they don’t have a subscription. You’re stuck. Maybe that article would have been a major source for your work — you’ll never know. You don’t have access. Open Access changes that. No more worrying about whether you’re on the campus network or if your library has a subscription. If you’re online, you have access, period — anywhere in the world.
- The current system puts students from smaller schools at a disadvantage: due to the staggering price of journal subscriptions that can exceed $20,000, only the largest, most well-funded institutions have the chance to provide their students with the complete scholarly record. Students at universities with library budgets less than those of large research institutions must make do with the access their library is able to afford. In addition, students at community colleges across the country, who comprise a large portion of students in higher education, suffer from a near total lack of access to the latest research locked away in expensive journals.