Report: MOOCs Top Open Access For Disruptive Potential

Joshua Bolkan | Campus Technology | October 23, 2013

A new report, Open Access, Megajournals, and MOOCs: On the Political Economy of Academic Unbundling, in Sage Open compares the disruptive potential of open access (OA) for academic articles and massive open online courses (MOOCs) and finds that MOOCs are more likely to change the course of higher education.

Richard Wellen, author of the article and associate professor at York University, said in an interview with Sage (to be published at the journal's blog this week), "The open access scholarship movement is often connected to the moral argument that the public which funds the research ought to have access to it. In recent years that has changed. The recent policy initiatives to promote open access in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States have been based not so much on a principled commitment to openness, but rather on a more strategic commitment to the maximization of research productivity."

That motivation simply won't be as powerful for researchers working in fields that benefit less from public-private partnerships, Wellen argues in the paper.