What is Open Access?

In today’s world the internet has become a place where everyone can voice their opinions and concerns about how messed up the ‘real world’ is. I am of the generation who first began having internet in their homes, we were taught how to use Microsoft Office from the age of 7 and so I grew up with technology adapting around me. Due to this, I, like other millennials, are stuck in the middle of generations; the prior, otherwise called the Baby Boomers, who the internet was just trust at in the hope that they may try and adapt to the changing world, then of course you have the Generation Z, those who have been around technology as soon as they are born and are naturally aware of touchscreens, iPad and things like Amazon Alexa. It is my generation, who must both prepare the later generations for the advancement of technology while also contending with the Baby Boomers, who aren’t technological natives, as Barlow puts it in the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace put it, the older generations

‘are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants’.


The fact that the internet can be used to break down boundaries for low income people to gain information for a low amount. This is what the idea of Open Access is all about as Barlow outlined, ‘We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth. We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.’ This is one of the most important aspects of the online community, to remember that it is in fact a virtual community where people can share their work and communicate with other people who share their ideals. This is where The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens comes into action. The framework started to be created in 2005 where it aimed to, ‘to provide evidence-based policy support to the European Commission and the Member States on harnessing the potential of digital technologies to innovate education and training practices, improve access to lifelong learning and to deal with the rise of new (digital) skills and competences needed for employment, personal development and social inclusion’ (team 2017). The framework includes 5 competence areas which must be fulfilled in order to make sure the information is accurate and best presented for the online world. These competencies include, Information and data literacy, Communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety and problem solving.

In conclusion, the use of Open Access in the online world is something that helps to bridge the gap between the lack of knowledge and information overload. It helps to find a medium for across the generations, but it also allows a wider community to access the information without having a to pay to access it.


‘5-Star Open Data’. n.d. Accessed 30 October 2019. http://5stardata.info/en/.

Barlow, John Perry. 2016. ‘A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’. Electronic Frontier Foundation. 20 January 2016. https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence.

‘EOSC Vienna Declaration’. n.d. Accessed 30 October 2019. https://eosc-launch.eu/declaration/.

Hagstrom, Stephanie. 2014. ‘The FAIR Data Principles’. FORCE11. 3 September 2014. https://www.force11.org/group/fairgroup/fairprinciples.

team, FPFIS. 2017. ‘DigComp 2.1: The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens with Eight Proficiency Levels and Examples of Use’. Text. EU Science Hub – European Commission. 28 April 2017. https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/digcomp-21-digital-competence-framework-citizens-eight-proficiency-levels-and-examples-use.

‘Vienna Principles a Vision for Scholarly Communication’. n.d. Accessed 30 October 2019. https://viennaprinciples.org/.