RE: Topic 5: Open Access

Excuse the late post but I wanted to read the work of my fellow peers of #UOSM2033 before posting my own opinion.

From my own experiences, the earliest case of plagiarism taken seriously was in my English GCSE class where a classmate of mine had thought it would be a brilliant idea to use Sparknotes and Wikipedia to help finds words to his essay. He was awarded a 0 in that particular piece of coursework. (He got an A by the end of the year, fair play to him!) That said, based on my comments in Freya’s blog I’m taking a different stance towards Open access and how it can be used for good!

The Elder Scrolls Franchise is worth more than £1.2 billion [1]. It most recent platform title, Skyrim, generated more that 20 million [2] copies sold, it was certainty a big risk when Bethesda Studios announced that they were going to realise a new title: Elder Scrolls Online. Given the success of previous MMORPG’s, what made the franchise so unique was that it was an offline, single player game. But creating this online experience raised a few eyebrows, myself included.

Then Bethesda studious announced something all hardcore gamer’s dreamt off. They were holding a trial period whilst the game was still in development/Beta. By giving open access to the community, it gave gamers a chance to play the game, whilst giving good honest and impartial criticism.

The result was that the game was a resounding success; collecting over 20 gaming awards and half a million unique players. [3] This an example of where Open Access can work. By allowing all interested parties to work together to create something that will benefit everyone. The irony is that the game uses fee based subscription, which of course disappointed a lot of fans, but as with any idea you want to gain some reward.

As I highlighted in Freya’s blog; researchers are no different. Yes, feedback from experts are great but an accepted idea cannot come into existence without the initial judging from experts! To suddenly make an accepted idea (something that has required a lot of hard work) commercial viable to all undermines all the hard work put in.

By making all interested parties pay for the use of materials this creates incomes for those researchers and funds analysis for the future.

In conclusion, the limited access we have in place is for the better. It is up to the producer to decide whether or not they want to make their own work public. In addition, some works are best left restricted to help serve private and public interests.

I look forward to people’s views as part of my reflection for this topic.


[1] Elder Scrolls Franchise :  [Date Accessed: 08/12/2014]

[2] Number of Copies of Skyrim Sold:  [Date Accessed: 08/12/2014]

[3] Number of Unique Users: [Date Accessed: 08/12/2014]

Freya’s Blog:

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