Open Access will be more than just text.

Arwen Armbrecht, Digital Communications Manager




The future of academic publishing is undeniably digital. The e-revolution of the past decade has changed the landscape of information sharing. The next leap forward is already gaining momentum.

Open Access will ensure, for the first time in history, that academic research is available to everyone, everywhere in a free and open exchange of ideas.

The OA model of freely available academic books and articles is, however, only the beginning of what will be possible. Researchers and academics will no longer be restricted to simply sharing texts, but also consult a much larger pool of input on a given text by way of interactive charts, comments sections and, perhaps most importantly, video.

Video, in an Open Access environment, has the potential to change the academic landscape in two very exciting ways. Within the academic community, video could potentially accompany traditional “abstracts”. The amount of information that can be packed into a short video summary far outweighs what can be written down in the average abstract, offering academics a more efferent way of presenting their work.

As is often the case, the digital revolution for the general public is already well ahead on this idea. Video services such as TED Talks and Big Think have demonstrated the overwhelming demand from the public for academic insight. As commercial ventures, however, those services have often fallen into the trap of needing to remain on “popular” subjects and have, at times, been criticised for over-simplifying academic research and conclusions.

Open Access video could offer a powerful alternative.

It is true that OA will be no safe haven from the now omnipresent demand of the almighty “click-rate.” Nevertheless, the core audience of OA video will always be “for academics by academics.” The demand from academics for accuracy and clarity will ensure that a much higher quality benchmark is maintained.

Furthermore, OA video is designed to replicate the structure of a research paper. In other words, the general public will be experiencing an academic paper without even knowing it.

The result will be a new video library covering a vastly wider range of subjects which remain faithful to the research they represent. It is a win-win whereby academics will be communicating for academics, while at the same time bringing new ideas and insights to the entire population of Youtube and beyond.

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