<Warning, post may be a bit preachy – photo: https://flic.kr/p/8PRgdC>
This isn't a post about the financial cost of open education, but rather the reciprocal, moral cost. As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working through a lot of OER publications for the OER Impact map. I've also been reading a lot of MOOC, open access & open scholarship publications for my Battle for Open book.
One thing that surprises and irritates me is the number of such publications that aren't published under an open access licence. It is a tad ironic to say the least when you encounter an article along the lines of "How OERs will transform education" – please pay $24.00 to access the article.
I'm not usually one for the kind of Open Stalinist approach, outing people for not being open enough and dictating exactly how people should be open, I think it's counter-productive, unimaginative and not very pleasant. But on this subject I am a hard-liner.
Now, I think all articles should be open access anyway, but I think if you are doing any research in the field of open education (MOOCs, OA, OER, open data, etc), then as soon as you start doing that research you are morally obliged to publish results open access. I don't care which method (although if Green route, make it easy to find). You only get to do that research (even if you are critical of it) because others have been open. You are therefore beholden to reciprocate in a like manner. If you don't want to, or feel that the journal you are targeting isn't OA, then choose another subject area. Openness is the route that allows you to do that research and it also has value – people will want to read your work because it is about openness. And you don't get that for free – Open access is the price of admission.