The Final Wrap Up

final post

It is the final UOSM 2008 blog post and I have created a Prezi to summarise the experience and lessons learnt. It may be the last post for living and working on the web but most definitely not the last blog post ever. Blogging now feels like something I should have been doing since the start of University and I thoroughly regret only beginning in my third year. I haven’t really chosen a future focus but I have no doubt that won’t be a difficult task. The Prezi has sound make sure the sound is on and if you are in public, earphones at the ready.


Sites that have re-blogged my open access post: Concierge Librarian  and Remi Pulwer

About Me link will take you to all other social networking sites.


Topic 5: Reflecting on Open Access

The blog posts this week have produced divided opinions and highlighted the debate that exists around open access. All the blog posts agree that open access is a fantastic concept, but it is not as simple as it seems. Though public funded access should be freely available this is not a utopian society and people have to make money and research grants can only stretch so far. It was interesting to read blog posts like Sarah Kyle’s, who suggested that even university students have problems accessing paid journals, which highlights that universities funding isn’t endless. Thus, neither the current system of open access or the pay for access system are truly ideal.

Each of the posts captured the benefits as well as the limitations of open access. For example, May Bulman interestingly suggested that pay walls limiting an individual’s access, may also be limiting our ability to critically analyse information due to a lack of funds to access multiple items. The majority of posts also highlighted the issue with quality in open access. Yet, Bartosz Paszcza did not agree that we lose quality with open access; he explained that many of the top OA journals are regarded as on par with the traditional ones.

A topic I found particularly interesting this week was the ethics surrounding open access. I posed a question to Jens Buhler suggesting that academics may feel pressured to publish in open access journals, as it’s the ‘ethical thing to do’. Similarly, Tatiana Sieff considered ethics from the viewpoint of those who consider restricted access as unethical.

The final topic of the course has been exceptionally interesting and diverse, with many of the posts linking the debate around open access back to previous week’s topics.


Jens Buhler

Bartosz Paszcza

Open Access: No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

open access

Open access is a complex issue which has numerous challenges for all those involved (Curry, 2012). This post will look at the advantages and disadvantages of open access in relation to academic journals. For an introduction to open access have a look at this great slideshare.

Providing open access to academic journals allows for innovation and growth in research, because research only works when we interchange ideas (Finch, 2012). Everyone should be able to access information that can further their understanding, especially research that has been publicly funded. Opening access to new and archived journals is also essential to bridge the gap in knowledge between developing and developed countries. Many journal subscriptions are too expensive for developing countries to access; open access would eliminate this barrier.

The following video sees open access as an integral part of maintaining democracy. Opening up journals and data allows for cross-disciplinary research, which is essential to answer our current global challenges.

Thus open access has the potential to increase the exposure and use of published research, facilitate the ability to develop topics discusses in previous literature, and enhance individuals’ education.

Unfortunately, ‘open’ does not mean ‘free’ – cost is often cited as the biggest disadvantage to open access. The content producer is often deterred by the cost of publishing an open access paper. However, Suber (2013) explains that only 6% of authors who publish in open access journals pay fees ‘out-of-pocket’. However, we must consider that it falls to institutions to pay these costs. The funds that would have been distributed to support research or purchase published work, are redirected to support the author’s publishing fees (Manista, 2012).

The distinction between green and gold open access must be made. The flow chart below outlines the process for both green and gold open access.

open access2

If we remove the up-front article processing charges in the ‘gold’ model, they are replaced by inflexible embargoes in the ‘green’ model. Allen (2015) suggests this will damage the financial viability of many scholarly journals and weaken the quality and integrity of the system, including the vital peer review process.

Concerns for quality and copyright have also been cited as disadvantages of open access. Copyright laws are outdated and have not kept pace with the evolving nature of the web or open access. If you are interested have a look at this editor’s article. The concern for quality comes mainly in the form of lack of peer review, or the profiteering from the ‘gold’ model of open access. The ‘gold’ model makes publishers money and it has been reported that some open access journals accept inferior quality work to receive the article processing fee (Shaw, 2013).

Allen, T. (2015) Scientific publishing policy should be based on facts, not politics, The Hill.

Curry, S. (2012) UK plan for open access to research is a golden opportunity, not a cost, The Guardian.

Finch, J.D. (2012) Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications, Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings.

Manista, F. C. (2012) “Open Don ’t Mean Free”: A Reflection on the Potential Advantages and Disadvantages of Publishing Research via Open Access, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, Vol. 1 (2).

Shaw, C. (2013) Hundreds of open access journals accept fake science paper, The Guardian.

Suber, P. (2013) Open access: six myths to put to rest, The Guardian.

Topic 4: Reflective Summary

After reading Topic 4’s blog post it has become clear that there is no clear or simple solution to ethical breaches, involved with social media usage in both business and the educational sector. There is no single solution because not only have we learnt over the course of this module that social media can be difficult to monitor, but also because ethics themselves are a ‘grey area’. Whilst researching this topic I found that there were a myriad of possible responses, because ethics are not fixed, they can be influenced by personal opinions.

This week my blog focused on the ethics involved with endorsements. An article commenting on the lack of transparency amongst gamers inspired me, it described  videos on YouTube where gamers were paid to review games favourably. From this I conducted further research and found that there are laws being put into place to increase consumer safety. Olivia and myself focused on similar areas, but she brought up a very valid point – it’s not just the endorsements themselves, but what product is actually being endorsed that may be the biggest ethical issue.  A recent article brings to light the fact that vloggers on YouTube, with a young demographic, are using gambling and junk food ads to fund their sites.

This topic is very diverse – even ethics behind reviews on sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp have come under scrutiny. Tamara’s comment on my post brought to light the argument that consumer apathy plays a major role in the expansion of ethical violations. This was a very interesting point, as it suggests that consumers have the power to stop ethical breaches and that it is not only the responsibility of companies like the Advertising standards agency.


Sarah Kyle

Olivia Handyside

Business Ethics: Endorsements are a Treacherous Path.

“Social-media-ad spending is expected to reach a total of $4.8 billion at the end of 2012 and $9.8 billion by 2016”. Bloomberg

The use of social media by companies to market their brand is one of the most successful ways to receive maximum publicity with a minimal budget. No matter what the business, people want to be in the know and that involves knowing what others think. However, the ethics surrounding online reviews and endorsements can be a grey area. This post is limited to two examples: paying for coverage on YouTube and celebrity endorsements on Twitter. However, the general ethical guidelines apply to all areas of social media reviews/endorsements.

In a recent interview Kelly McBride, the author of The New Ethics of Journalism, discussed the complex ethics surrounding paid endorsements on YouTube. She also discussed the value of transparency and credibility – a business lacking transparency is at risk of losing credibility (similar theme to Topic 3). However, these values do not simply apply to YouTube but to all reviews on social media. As such, the motives behind a product endorsement must be clear, as they will undoubtedly influence how the reader judges the information provided (Rose, 2014). Vloggers in particular often come under fire for breach of ethical codes. A recent article describes an incident whereby Vloggers were said to have broken the law after participating in a sponsored campaign promoting Oreo biscuits.

From previous blog topics, it is clear that legally monitoring social media can be difficult. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the U.S. government that fights for the protection of consumers. They have introduced standards to ensure that if an advertiser or a marketer is paying someone to write favourable reviews, they should clearly disclose this information to the viewer (FTC, 2013).

Blog 5 1The same principles apply to celebrities who endorse products on Twitter. The FTC explains that if a celebrity fails to use the #ad or #spon, both the advertiser and endorser may be liable. The Advertising Standards Authority UK has similar guidelines (Gibson, 2014). However, despite these authorities’ guidelines, social media will always be difficult to regulate due to the various ‘grey areas’ surrounding online marketing (Varney, 2013).

Blog 5 2

Blog 5 3

This great Slideshare, discusses the laws regarding social media marketing and provides examples of endorsements conducted in the right and wrong manner.

It’s clear that often viewers are unaware of the nature of endorsements and reviews. If viewers are informed, they may carry out different actions. Nonetheless, it must be noted that this is an exceptionally broad topic with many interesting view points.

FTC (2013) .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, Federal Trade Commission.

Gibson, W. (2014) Celebrity spokespersons and the federal trade commission, Social Media Explorer.

Rose, M. (2014) Pay for Play: The ethics of paying for YouTuber coverage, Gamasutra.

Varney, C.  (2013) Celebrity Twitter Ads: Regulations, Allegations and Selling Out, Brandwatch.

Topic 3 – Reflecting on creating a brand.

There are a wealth of resources out there on the do’s and don’ts of creating an online professional profile. The tricky bit is making sure that you maintain authenticity when managing or creating these profiles. The discussion surrounding authenticity is what made this week’s topic so diverse, with blogs like Namat’s and Irinie’s offering interesting points on how to be authentic, while others not referring to it at all. A lot of the discussion I was involved in questioned the authenticity of both the employer and the candidate’s use of social media during the recruitment process. Other discussions, focused on the relationship between authenticity and how long the profile had been active.

Through reading other blog posts and their associated comments, I discovered that online profiles are not for everyone. Some people, like May, find that their profile propels them into the working world, while others, like Hayley, find it difficult to maintain a professional profile. Nonetheless, there seems to be a surge in employers using social media, yet this may be limited to specific industries.

Discussing the topic with recruiters from ‘Dorset Health Care’ and ‘Honeywell Engineering’, it appears that they believe it is more appropriate and efficient to assess a candidate’s skills during an interview. Interestingly, the recruiter from ‘Honeywell Engineering’ suggested that though he doesn’t believe in using social media to vet candidates, even if he did, his digital illiteracy prevents him from ‘social snooping’.

I have learnt that having an online profile can be a helpful resource in my future job hunt. Professional online profiles have numerous advantages, they act as a platform for individuals who cannot display their breadth of skills on a traditional CV as well as displaying personality, which might otherwise be lost on a CV, thus allowing individuals to promote their own personal brand. However, this topic has also highlighted the undesirable aspects of professional profiles and the amount of work it takes to maintain an authentic profile.


Namat’s blog

Hayley’s blog

Topic 3: May the tweets be ever in your favour.

Thought the job market was tough in 2014? In 2015 69% of recruiters expect job competition to increase. With the competition increasing, there is no time like the present to focus on creating a professional online profile. Recruiters are now looking further than your CV to identify talented candidates. A 2014 Jobvite survey indicates that 73% of employers plan to increase investment in social networking recruitment.

Untitled Infographic (4)

How do you create an online profile that benefits your future employment? The most popular first step is to develop a LinkedIn profile, with 347 million members in over 200 countries it’s a great starting point (LinkedIn, 2014). However, it’s not the only online program and an effective profile should make use of multiple platforms- Facebook and Twitter also play a major role in recruitment. However, these social media sites are now being used to screen applicants, so it’s important to have control of your social networking profiles. David Timis has a great video which shows you how to establish your online profile, and how to use the important networking tools available on LinkedIn.

Untitled Infographic (3)

You need to use the web to create a brand that makes you stand out. Blogging is a great way to do this and shows, in a professional context, what is important to you. Blogging gives you the ability to demonstrate passion, dedication, motivation as well as creativity (The Employable, 2014). A Google or About.Me profile with links to all your online platforms, allows individuals to connect to you efficiently. Maintenance is key, if you have a common name or find that your visibility on Google is poor, the ‘Vizability’ site could help. It’s important to be active on sites such as Google+ and LinkedIn, as they rank highly on Google searches (Snowden, 2011). The video below provides a great summary of online presences and highlights the importance of constantly changing and adapting your profiles.

Nonetheless, it’s important to be authentic, consistent and effective when creating your profiles. You need to create a profile that directs people to content you want them to see, ideally content which is a true reflection of you and your achievements (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2013). Remember that a bad profile can harm your job prospects or even cause you to lose your current job, as these employees learnt.

Remember, when choosing platforms to develop your professional profile, always consider the sector you’re applying to, for example the fashion and photography industries use Pinterest and Instagram as platforms to display their skills (Donnelly, 2014).

Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2013) The Future of You, Harvard Business Review Blog. Accessed: 05/03/2015

Donnelly, D. (2014) Building your professional online profile, Inspiring Interns Blog. Accessed: 06/03/2015

Eaton, K (2009) If you’re applying for a job, censor your Facebook page, Fast Company. Accessed: 05/03/2015

Jobvite (2014) Social Recruiting Survey.

LinkedIn (2014) About LinkedIn. Accessed: 06/03/2015

Snowden, G. (2011) The Rules of Social Recruiting, The Guardian Online. Accessed: 06/03/2015

The Employable (2014) How blogging can help you get a job. Accessed: 05/03/2015