Open Access

In Aaron Swartz’s “Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto,” he argues it is time to liberate information that is privatized so that the public can access this knowledge as well. He claims that it is time to get rid of the greed plaguing the world and time for the open access movement in which EVERYBODY has the equal opportunity to learn. Why should we pay to learn? Why do scholars have issues accessing the information they need to progress? Why is money tied to knowledge? Now why some of these questions may have obvious answers, they raise crucial points that help legitimize Swarts’s manifesto. I definitely agree that there should be no barriers to knowledge, especially as a student. However, will I join the movement by liberating corporations knowledge? Probably not. What we can do though is share what we know with everyone we know and make sure that new information isn’t locked up for profit. As long as we are making progress as an open access community, corporations will be forced to follow suit and keep up with this new format of learning. When Swartz tried to download all of JSTOR, not only was he being naive, but he was being heroic at the same time. Obviously that is an impossible task without some repercussions, but without people like him, this movement would not be possible. We have to challenge the system and make risky moves. If we just sit back and let published work fall into private companies hands, then one day only the richest people will be able to gain knowledge. Lastly, if I were to revise this manifesto I would call out the private companies. If we put them in the spotlight and show the world what they are actually doing then we may be able to make significant progress. We have to incentivize publishers to follow this open access movement and make sure that everyone, rich and poor, have the ability to learn.

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