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Class Blog 2- Mon

Caribbean Historians can only benefit from ‘Open Access’. What is your opinion of this statement?

Submit your answer to the comment section below by Monday 20th March 2023 by 11:55pm.

DO NOT include personal information (eg. Student ID No.) in your entry.



  1. jolierooplal says:

    The claim that “Caribbean historians ‘ONLY’ benefit from open access (OA)” is misleading. Collaboration networks, digital archives, repositories, and public involvement, to name a few, may undoubtedly be advantageous for these historians. Yet, it is vital to stress that with OA, these Caribbean historians would significantly benefit (Suber 2012). This is due to the fact that in academia, there are various advantages to “open access,” according to Cambridge University Press. Some of these benefits include high quality owing to peer-reviewed sources; ease of access due to no payment barriers; and, on a global scale, everyone can profit, boosting the likelihood of new ideas after discovery (Cambridge University Press, 2023). With this in mind, consider the advantages that many Caribbean historians would gain from having a large number of sources to significantly deepen their research. Traditional publishing routes are unlikely to contain a varied range of information. Therefore, more access to research and educational materials would be accomplished through open access. Likewise, if the Caribbean-based institution is underfunded, it may not have the financial resources to investigate costlier academic materials and papers. In addition, with OA, Caribbean historians can publish and cite their work, enhance the likelihood of it being acknowledged, and improve their prospects of global recognition. Overall, as a result of utilizing OA, increased communication among Caribbean and other international historians can be formed while minimizing global disparities (Suber, 2012).

  2. sarayaganesh says:

    Saraya Ganesh
    According to the Open Society Foundation, “Open Access” is a publishing and distribution paradigm that makes scientific research material, most of which is supported by taxpayers worldwide, freely available to the public online, without limitations.
    In recent years, open access to history has surely grown in popularity as a means of boosting the exposure and influence of historical research and publications, as well as promoting better cooperation and openness in the research process.
    The assertion that “Caribbean Historians can only profit from free access” is correct. This has various advantages that ‘Open Access’ facilitates for Caribbean historians, including:

    1. Improved Visibility and Impact- Caribbean Historians, for example, may reach a larger audience, including researchers, students, politicians, and the general public, by making their research available through open access. This may boost the effect and influence of their work while also raising awareness and knowledge of Caribbean history and culture.

    2. Preservation and accessibility- Open access can aid in the preservation and accessibility of historical documents and other key materials critical to understanding Caribbean history. Open access programs may ensure that these assets are maintained for future generations by digitizing and making them freely available to anybody, regardless of geography or financial means.

    3. Enhanced Collaboration- Open Access may help Caribbean historians and researchers from all around the world collaborate. Caribbean historians may interact with colleagues in other countries, share ideas and resources, and collaborate on initiatives that promote knowledge and understanding of the Caribbean by making their research publicly available.

    Nevertheless, although there are a plethora of benefits to Open Access, there are also downsides. Among them are:

    1. 1. Financing and sustainability- Open access publishing and archiving might necessitate substantial financial and institutional resources to sustain over time. This can be difficult for Caribbean historians and institutions with inadequate money and support for digital publishing and preservation activities.

    2. Inadequate resources and infrastructure- Several Caribbean nations, for example, have poor internet connectivity, bandwidth, and other technological resources, making it challenging to build and maintain online repositories or platforms for open-access publication.

    Although establishing ‘Open Access’ in the Caribbean presents a number of problems, there are also resources and activities available to assist this approach. The Open Access Caribbean Network is one example (OACN). The OACN is a regional project that provides open access, publishing, and archiving training, assistance, and resources to Caribbean academics and researchers. Another example is the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), which has formed alliances with ‘Open Access’ publishers and platforms and has been a regional pioneer in pushing this strategy.

    Yet, I do think that it is important to understand that “Open Access” does not necessarily provide a comprehensive answer to every problem that Caribbean historians and the academic community confront. It is, instead, one of several methods that may be used to achieve better equity, accessibility, and effectiveness in historical research and study. By carefully weighing the possible benefits and drawbacks of ‘Open Access,’ Caribbean historians should make an informed decision about how to effectively publish their research and communicate with a larger audience.

    1. “What Is Open Access?” Open Society Foundations, accessed March 15, 2023,

    2. Caribbean Studies Association, accessed March 15, 2023,

    3. “Advantages of Open Access,” Aarhus University, accessed March 15, 2023,

  3. xuanmauge says:

    Firstly, Open Access can increase the visibility and accessibility of research materials, making it easier for Caribbean historians to access a wide range of sources for their work. This can lead to a greater diversity of perspectives and interpretations in historical research.

    Secondly, Open Access can promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing among Caribbean historians, as well as with scholars from other regions. This can lead to the development of new research questions and methodologies, as well as the creation of new networks and partnerships.

    Thirdly, Open Access can facilitate the dissemination of historical knowledge to a broader audience, including students, policymakers, and members of the public. This can help to promote greater understanding and appreciation of Caribbean history and culture, as well as provide important context for contemporary issues facing the region.

    Overall, I agree that Open Access can be highly beneficial for Caribbean historians, as it can help to overcome barriers to accessing information and promote greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the academic community.

  4. marieayoung0 says:

    Blog 2
    Marie Ayoung
    Question: Caribbean Historians can only benefit from ‘Open Access’. What is your opinion of this statement?

    To holistically assess the above statement, there must be the analysis of two perspectives. Firstly, what does this statement mean for Caribbean historians who are accessing this information and what does this mean for the Caribbean historians who are publishing it? This assertion can be viewed as a double edged sword that can potentially benefit but disadvantage this particular demographic. ‘Open Access’ (OA) is the availability of scholarly information, resources and materials such as datasets, journals, research articles / projects, data, books etc. that are made accessible to the general public, free of charge and without payment requirements (Renirie 2022). This means that on one end, Caribbean historians can benefit from having easily accessible and credible information about niche topics of Caribbean history. However, on the other hand, Caribbean historians who publish this content do not necessarily reap financial benefits from their accredited work. Hence, there are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to ‘Open Access’ and therefore there aren’t ‘sole benefits’ or ‘sole disadvantages’ for this group.
    Firstly, in terms of those historians who are accessing the information, there are the benefits of, free accessibility and collaborative research / networking. As the concept implies, free accessibility grants Caribbean historians the opportunity to access viable accredited research about niche topics (Edanz Learning Team 2018) and, as well as specific content geared towards the Caribbean interest. Thus, there can be the acquisition of accumulated knowledge and resources outputted for other researchers to read, cite, add and analyze. Alongside this plethora of available resources, historians now have the opportunity to network and connect with other professionals in their field(s) of expertise but also have connections to multidisciplinary studies. Hence, there is a community formed of readers who are interested in Caribbean history and there’s more connectivity and collective knowledge.
    On the contrary, with regard to Caribbean historians who are publishing content to be ‘Open Access’, there are both benefits and disadvantages when looking at it from this perspective. There’s the benefits of increased citations and increased readership / target audience but also the disadvantages of publishing fees, susceptibility to plagiarism and predatory journals. Firstly, with increased readership, with ‘Open Access’ Caribbean History historians are able to cater and attract a larger reading audience by having their work be open and accessible to all (Edanz Learning Team 2018). Thus there can be more recognition and traction for their work by readers and other professionals on a regional and international scale. Secondly, with increased citations, this is a beneficial factor of having ‘Open Access’ because references increase the content’s visibility and grants an indication that this is good quality work (Sjögårde and Didegah 2022). Essentially, this means the more citations of the content, the more reputable it may be.
    However, with increased readership and reputation, this comes at a literal cost. While ‘Open Access’ may grant the readers the benefit of free resources, someone (and usually the author) has to pay for the costs of publication (Edanz Learning Team 2018). Sometimes authors may apply for research grants to cover said costs but this may still discourage publishers from allowing ‘Open Access’ at their expense. Especially with regard to Caribbean historians, the fees may be increased due to the foreign exchange rate on international platforms to publish their work for ‘Open Access’ which may be draining to do financially without future reimbursement in any monetary sense. Secondly, there’s plagiarism. With having such credible and detailed resources published for international viewing, there’s the possibility of plagiarism. Although plagiarism happens regardless of how the content is posted, with payment of fees there’s some kind of barrier created between the author’s work and the person who is copying. While it doesn’t prevent plagiarism, having content restricted vs it being ‘Open Access’ can help to manage how much ‘accessibility’ is granted to others who may not have the best intentions of accrediting the work to its rightful owner.
    Thus, with the examination of both ends there’s clear indicators of both leverages and setbacks with ‘Open Access’ when it comes to Caribbean historians as users and publishers of these resources. Could Caribbean historians benefit from ‘Open Access’? Yes, they can, in both the perspective as a user and publisher. However, would they ‘only’ benefit if they were ‘Open Access’? No, they wouldn’t. There’s some drawbacks when it comes to ‘Open Access’ that would disadvantage this demographic of historians and it cannot be said that ‘Open Access’ is the only beneficial route to success. Essentially, while there are great benefits, this is not the sole ‘way’ for Caribbean historians to benefit and advance in the digital age.

  5. Open Access refers to the free, immediate, online access to scholarly research and publications without financial, legal, or technical barriers. The idea is to make research findings more widely available and accessible to everyone, regardless of their location or financial resources. With this being said, I do think that the answer to the question on whether or not Caribbean Historians can only benefit from ‘Open Access’ is No, simply because Caribbean historians can benefit from different forms of information including access but they are by no means limited to only the use of open access.
    Open access can help to encourage more accountability and transparency in academic publishing by making research results and methodologies more open to scrutiny and criticism however, this method allows for a lot of misinformation to be spread as everyone has access to these platforms and this is where other forms of obtaining information can be beneficial as a way to fact check information.
    While the use of open access is useful for Caribbean Historians it is not the only method available to Caribbean scholars. Access to actual archives, libraries, and collections as well as to various internet databases and subscription services can also be advantageous to them. Additionally, networking with other scholars and participating in academic conferences and meetings can offer fruitful opportunities for collaboration and learning.
    The benefits of acquiring information outside of using open access can be; improved accuracy and reliability because when information is outsourced you can access high-quality data from trusted sources. Using other methods can also give you access to specialized knowledge and by outsourcing, you may be able to access specialized knowledge and skills that aren’t always present in open-access sources. Lastly, it can help improve efficiency because the time and resources that would otherwise be used for information gathering and study can be saved by outsourcing.
    In general, Caribbean historians do not only need to use open-access methods they can use other forms of obtaining information such as subscriptions and primary methods of obtaining information. Gathering information through other means can reduce the dangers associated with relying only on open-access sources while giving researchers access to high-quality data,specialized knowledge and help minimize time.

  6. Ethan Rajcoomar
    Open access refers to the free, immediate, and free online availability of scholarly research and other works. This means that anyone, anywhere in the world, can access and use the research without financial or technical barriers. In contrast, traditional publishing models often require payment or subscription fees to access research, limiting its availability to those with the resources to pay. Open access helps address the problem of information inequality that affects many countries in the Caribbean region. Many universities and research institutions in the Caribbean need more resources and may need help accessing expensive scholarly journals and databases. Open access can provide a more equitable and affordable means of accessing and sharing research, enabling researchers to collaborate more effectively across borders.
    Open access can promote greater engagement with the public and policymakers. Making research freely available can foster a more informed and participatory society, enabling citizens to engage more directly with historical research and debates. This can be particularly important in contexts where the history and heritage of the Caribbean region are contested or have been subject to erasure or neglect.
    Open access can foster greater diversity and inclusivity in historical research. Making research more widely available can promote a greater diversity of perspectives and voices within the field. This is particularly important for Caribbean history, which has often been written from a Eurocentric perspective that has marginalized the perspectives and contributions of Caribbean people.
    Open access can increase the visibility and impact of historians’ research by making it available to a broader audience, including those needing access to expensive subscription-based databases. This can promote greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the academic community and with non-academic stakeholders.
    However, it is worth noting that open access has challenges. For example, there may be concerns about the quality control of open-access research and the financial sustainability of publishing models that rely on open access. Nonetheless, many scholars and institutions are working to address these challenges and promote the benefits of open access.

  7. karishmaboodoo says:

    Karishma Boodoo
    ‘Open Access’ refers to the free, unrestricted access to scholarly literature and research that is available online. Open Access has revolutionized the way in which knowledge is disseminated as well as accessed in today’s digital and technological age. For Caribbean Historians, open access is essential for several reasons. The Caribbean is a region that holds a rich history and culture spanning many centuries, countries and even societies and historians working from this region therefore require access to a wide range of resources and materials to produce high-quality research. I would therefore argue that Caribbean Historians can only benefit from open access to information.

    Firstly, open access can increase the accessibility of historical research in the Caribbean. Caribbean Historians are able to publish their work in repositories that have open access meaning that anyone would be able to access their historical work and research on the Caribbean regardless of one’s financial situation or location. Accessibility would therefore be important for scholars and students residing or studying in the Caribbean who may not be privileged enough to have access to expensive academic journals or databases. In addition to scholars and students, open access can also benefit members of the general public who may have an interest in learning more about the Caribbean’s culture and history.

    Secondly, open access can support public education by making historical research widely available to the general public. This can now enable individuals and members of the general public to access this historical data and engage it with their own history therefore leading to a more informed understanding of the past. Adding to this, open access can aid in the development of educational material and resources that can be used in schools, universities and other educational settings in attempts to promote historical awareness.

    Open access can also increase the visibility of historical research in the Caribbean. Caribbean Historians can publish their work and research in open access journals and databases which would be available at no cost to anyone with an internet connection. This would therefore mean that the work of these historians would be able to reach a larger audience as open access journals and databases tend to have higher visibility. This in turn can increase the chances of a historian’s work being cited by others. The increased visibility poses an advantage to Caribbean Historians where they are able to access more funding opportunities as well as collaborate with other researchers and historians in order to advance their research.

    Finally, open access can assist in increasing and improving the accuracy of historical research in the Caribbean as open access journals and databases allow for the free distribution of these materials meaning that more persons can access and review the work of Caribbean Historians. This allows for feedback from other scholars, historians and researchers which can improve the accuracy of historical research.

    In conclusion, it is in my opinion that Caribbean Historians can only benefit from open access to information. By making research freely available, historians and scholars are able to reach a wider audience, increasing the impact and accessibility of their work.

    May, Christopher. 2019. “Academic Publishing and Open Access: Costs, Benefits and Options for Publishing Research” 40 (1): 120–35.

    Neylon, Cameron, Alkim Ozaygen, Lucy Montgomery, Chun-Kai (Karl) Huang, Ros Pyne, Mithu Lucraft, and Christina Emery. 2021. “More Readers in More Places: The Benefits of Open Access for Scholarly Books.” Insights the UKSG Journal 34.

    “What Is Open Access? | UNESCO.” n.d.

    “Why Open Access?” 2012. October 30, 2012.

  8. Cheniecesa Wood says:

    Scholarly articles that have open access can be regarded as those that are free and have fewer copyright restrictions than regularly published works which can be beneficial for both the readers and authors. According to the United report (2011), “Facilitating access to the Internet for all individuals, with as little restriction to online content as possible, should be a priority for all States.” This can assist Caribbean historians and other persons with the opportunity to access information easily through the online platform such as the internet without having to spend a large amount of money. Many Caribbean historians may encounter difficulties in receiving or gathering data from the colonialism period within the Caribbean which resulted in them having to travel to Britain and other countries. Caribbean historians can benefit from OA significantly since it would allow them access to a wide variety of information that may usually be difficult or extremely costly to acquire. Hence, the birth of digital history and the rise in open access can result in this information being gathered through scholarly articles on the internet for free or at a reasonable cost. Once data and articles or journals are easily available, scholars are given the opportunity to effectively build on someone else’s work and generate new ideas and approaches. This has the potential to stimulate innovation and expand the study of Caribbean history. Open access can also serve to promote and spread Caribbean history by making it available to a worldwide audience.

    Jackson, N. (2011, August 8). United Nations declares internet access a basic human right. The Atlantic.

  9. shaniakhan1 says:

    Before trying to form an understanding of the proposed question and properly addressing it, the concept should first be understood, hence the first question to be considered is, what is open access? As the name implies, it is simply that, “open access means free access to information and unrestricted use of electronic resources for everyone” (“What Is Open Access?” n.d.).
    Therefore, for historians, open access includes unrestricted, free internet access to academic papers and research which offers various benefits such as enhanced reach and visibility, cost-efficiency as it eliminates pricey access fees, the preservation of research and greater collaboration (among them; researchers and scholars). This is particularly advantageous for historians in the Caribbean as they must often deal with challenges such as the inability to access the work of other scholars regionally and internationally, expensive subscription fees, suitable archives and a limited reach regarding their own work . Therefore, it cannot be disputed that Caribbean historians undoubtedly benefit greatly from open access but the consideration of the statement that this group “can only benefit from ‘open access’,” is another matter almost entirely in my opinion.
    My stance is that this statement is not necessarily true but it is not false either, as previously implied. Scholars of the Caribbean, just as any other scholar of other origins, have much to gain from open access as stated above. But to state that this is the only type of access which is beneficial to such historians is not inflexible. To an extent, this almost seems offensive to Caribbean historians, as it paints them as if they are less fortunate and must be handed this specific type of accessibility in order to perform. So more simply, my response is no, a multitude of access modes, including open access, can be advantageous to historians from the Caribbean. According to the needs and circumstances of the researcher, various access methods, such as subscription-based access or pay-per-view models, may also be advantageous. Under a paid subscription, such access offers the opportunity to obtain academic journals which opens the door to a wide range of high-quality research resources (Bonnell 2013). For (Caribbean) historians who have access to institutional subscriptions or who are associated with academic institutions that offer access to these resources or those with their own steady financial resources, this model could be relevant and therefore quite useful. Additionally, researchers who just need access to certain articles or publications rather than continuous access to a vast database may find pay-per-view models to be appealing as these allow users to access individual articles or publications on a one-time basis for a fee (Hosburgh 2012).
    Ultimately, a number of variables, such as a Caribbean historian’s research requirements, financial resources, and institutional connections, would determine the best access model for them. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that open access can be quite useful to Caribbean historians who may have limited funding and resources, as it offers a free and open platform for disseminating and accessing academic work.

    Bonnell, Ashlan. 2013. “4 Benefits of a Market Research Subscription vs. Single Report Buying.” November 19, 2013.,having%20to%20make%20additional%20purchases.

    Hosburgh, Nathan. 2012. “Getting The Most Out of Pay-Per-View: A Feasibility Study and Discussion of Mediated and Unmediated Options.” Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, September.

    “What Is Open Access?” n.d. UNESCO. Accessed March 18, 2023.

    Shania Khan

  10. The statement which is being discussed that states “Caribbean Historians can only benefit from ‘Open Access”, in my opinion is not true. This conclusion was decided upon for a vast number of reasons which go against the statement presented. A firm definition of Open Access to help provide understanding of the basis of what is being discussed states that “Open access (OA) means free access to information and unrestricted use of electronic resources for everyone. Any kind of digital content can be OA, from texts and data to software, audio, video, and multi-media.” (“What Is Open Access? | UNESCO” 2023). This definition helps further support my opinion that Caribbean Historians do not only benefit from open access because as much as historians would be able to gather information freely which makes acquisition of relevant data easily accessible, there are certain forums which are not open access that may provide exclusive and beneficial information which would help historians in their search. An example of a means of gathering information which is not open access would be paying to enter a museum or a historical building which would allow for further data collection to help historians in their search to gain further knowledge on a specific area of study. I believe that though Open Access is very beneficial as it makes the research process easier for Historians, having free open resources may result in large pools of other information that may not be relevant. Furthermore, I believe with that being said it supports the opinion that paying for locked resources or archives with information or paying for data collection at certain places would be very valuable for Caribbean Historians. Caribbean Historians can benefit from paying to go for example to Nylon Pool in Tobago to help learn more about the reefs, they can pay to go to the Pitch Lake in Trinidad to learn about the asphalt lake and it’s history and they can pay to visit the Soufiere Hills Volcano In Montserrat to analyse data collected from the eruption of the Volcano just to name a few. In addition, not only in these instances do they pay to gather and capture research to help with their area of study, but they also gain an experience.

    “What Is Open Access? | UNESCO.” 2023. 2023.,video%2C%20and%20multi%2Dmedia..

  11. Open Access is an essential tool for Caribbean historians seeking to increase the exposure and distribution of their work. Open Access can assist to make research more available by removing the constraints of pricey subscription-based publication. This is especially important for individuals who do not have access to university libraries or cannot afford to pay for access to individual articles. This enhanced accessibility may lead to more prospects for cooperation, financing, and development in one’s profession.
    Furthermore, by removing information access obstacles, Open Access can aid in the democratization of knowledge. This is especially essential for Caribbean historians, who are frequently excluded from mainstream academic debate due to language hurdles and the dominance of Eurocentric viewpoints. Open Access can assist to mitigate this by giving Caribbean historians a platform to communicate their research with a worldwide audience, encouraging more diversity and inclusiveness in the academic community.
    Moreover, Open Access has been shown to increase the visibility and impact of research by improving citation rates. Caribbean historians may boost their research impact and influence in the field by making their research available through Open Access, as well as potentially attract new collaborators and funding possibilities.
    To conclude, Open Access is a strong instrument that may significantly aid Caribbean historians by increasing the accessibility, democratization, and influence of their research. It is critical for Caribbean historians to examine Open Access publication policies in order to expand the accessibility and effect of their research.

  12. Open Access is an essential tool for Caribbean historians seeking to increase the exposure and distribution of their work. Open Access can assist to make research more available by removing the constraints of pricey subscription-based publication. This is especially important for individuals who do not have access to university libraries or cannot afford to pay for access to individual articles. This enhanced accessibility may lead to more prospects for cooperation, financing, and development in one’s profession.
    Furthermore, by removing information access obstacles, Open Access can aid in the democratization of knowledge. This is especially essential for Caribbean historians, who are frequently excluded from mainstream academic debate due to language hurdles and the dominance of Eurocentric viewpoints. Open Access can assist to mitigate this by giving Caribbean historians a platform to communicate their research with a worldwide audience, encouraging more diversity and inclusiveness in the academic community.
    Moreover, Open Access has been shown to increase the visibility and impact of research by improving citation rates. Caribbean historians may boost their research impact and influence in the field by making their research available through Open Access, as well as potentially attract new collaborators and funding possibilities.
    To conclude, Open Access is a strong instrument that may significantly aid Caribbean historians by increasing the accessibility, democratization, and influence of their research. It is critical for Caribbean historians to examine Open Access publication policies in order to expand the accessibility and effect of their research.
    Suber, Peter. Open Access. MIT Press, 2012.
    Piwowar, Heather A., and Todd J. Vision. “Data reuse and the open data citation advantage.”

  13. “Open access is a broad international movement that seeks to grant free and open online access to academic information, such as publications and data. A publication is defined ‘open access’ when there are no financial, legal or technical barriers to accessing it – that is to say when anyone can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search for and search within the information, or use it in education or in any other way within the legal agreements.”1 Caribbean historians can benefit greatly from Open Access because it can increase the visibility and accessibility of their research, making it easier for scholars, students, and the general public to read and learn from their work.

    Due to the ease in which academics from other universities and countries can access and build upon one another’s work, one of the key advantages of free access is that it encourages collaboration and information sharing. “More people can read the results of scholarly research, including those who would otherwise not be able to access that information because they cannot afford the subscription to an expensive journal, for example.”2 This is vital for Caribbean historians, whose field of research frequently incorporates the managing of different ideologies from various cultures.

    Moreover, by allowing its publication to audiences beyond the traditional academic circles, open access might expand the influence and relevance of Caribbean historical research. “New ideas can be dispersed more rapidly and widely, which in turn triggers new research studies; it serves as an impetus for knowledge.”2 This may benefit citizens from increased involvement, learning, policy making, which can protect anything of Historical value, as well as awareness campaigns relating to Caribbean history and culture.

    It is important to note that Open Access is not without its limitations, including the requirement for information quality control to verify the reliability and validity of published studies. “Researchers can be spammed by open access publishers of often dubious quality (“predatory journals”), which colours their perception of the open access publication model. It takes some effort to sort the wheat from the chaff. Improvements are made to the databases which show the quality of open access publishers more transparently.”2

    The advantages of Open Access for Caribbean historians appear to outweigh most disadvantages, as it can help advance the spread of scholarly information, expand learning and interests which interns promote cross-cultural exchange.

    1. Pros and cons, n.d.
    2. What is open access?, n.d.

  14. Jenna Dass says:

    ‘Open Access’ refers to the unrestricted availability of scholarly articles and publications, with limited or no access charges and copyright barriers. By publishing their research in Open Access journals, Caribbean historians can make their work accessible to a broader audience, not only in the region but internationally, including those who do not have access to traditional academic resources. This can facilitate the promotion of Caribbean history and help bring greater awareness and understanding to their areas of study. Open Access also allows for greater dissemination of knowledge and increases the citations and impact of Caribbean historians’ research. By making their work more widely available, it can potentially reach a larger audience, subsequently leading to more collaborations and opportunities for further research. Despite the many benefits, there are some disadvantages of Open Access for Caribbean historians. As much of the source materials and information needed to conduct research on Caribbean history is found outside of the region, research on these topics can be slow and costly for historians located in the Caribbean. As a result, it is possible that foreign historians would be able to conduct further research on Caribbean history topics much faster than those in the Caribbean could after being introduced to them via Open Access publications by Caribbean historians. Open Access publications may also charge historians publishing and maintenance fees for their work, which can be a barrier for those who do not have access to funding to cover these costs. Some Caribbean historians may also be hindered by unstable internet connectivity, which can limit the impact of research and their access to Open Access publications. It can be concluded that while Caribbean historians benefit greatly from Open Access publications like increasing the visibility and impact of their research, and making their work accessible to a broader audience, there exists potential disadvantages such as poaching of research ideas from foreign historians, high publication costs, and unstable internet access.

  15. ajay gunness says:

    Ajay Gunness

    Open access refers to the free and unrestricted access to academic information and resources. The Caribbean’s history is one filled with rich and culturally significant information and lore whose reach is limited to those studying or researching facets of it and those within the region who carry down its history through their parent and grandparents.
    The already limited amount of research as compared to regions of the world already speaks to the niche subgroup of academics of whom the information serves. The Caribbean’s history is characterized by slavery, colonization, and the struggle for independence that many countries within the region faced. The accurate account of the history told from the perspective of those facing the struggles is paramount to preserving not only the history but also the culture and significance of times gone. Research done by the Caribbean historian should serve those within her academic circle as well as those merely interested, one such facilitator that would enable a greater access to Caribbean history and research is open access.

    There are many methods through which open access can be employed such as the golden route where there are full access journals that anyone can freely and wholly access or hybrid journals that work based off a subscription fee that allows its subscribers access to a wide range of articles [1]. There is also the Green method of open access where authors can publish their research in any journal of their choosing but self archive to allow for open access to their university/institution or on a open access website [2].

    Caribbean Historians are the gatekeepers of our history, they are responsible for how it is recounted and how it will be told in the future by younger generations walking in their footsteps. Open access either gold or green, allows for a broader and deeper breadth of information to be accessed by not only academic professionals but students pursing their further education or seeking to more deeply understand their history and culture. Much of the documents or research associated with the Caribbean is restricted to those who pay for the academic services or resources available only in libraries or physical copies. Open access is a way of opening the doors to those who cannot afford to pay or are limited by their location relative to physical documents. Furthermore, the reach of Caribbean historians can be drastically extrapolated if open access allows for those interested to obtain their research and not be restricted by a paywall.

    The amount of resources kept in the Caribbean can also be a point of concern as Caribbean islands are small bodies and are susceptible to natural disasters or physical copies of significant documents being destroyed, lost or forgotten. Open access stands as a valid and capable method of preserving historical and cultural evidence for future generations while reducing the barrier to access these resources.

    The main drawback is the sheer amount of physical labor not to mention equipment required to digitize the documents important enough to stand as historically significant. The current bodies responsible for digitizing information, libraries, universities etc. are underequipped to handle the volume of documents needed to be properly digitized. This can however be overcome if these institutions and smaller bodies are given the requisite equipment to handle the digitization process, thereby contributing to the open access principles.

    In conclusion, I believe open access can truly only benefit Caribbean historians in their pursuit to preserve and further document the history laid within the Caribbean. The advantages overwhelm the drawbacks, not only for the advantage of the historical and cultural evidence being preserved but for historians to broaden their professional academic reach and to allow for the larger community of younger students pursing research that leads through the historian’s research to be made better by it. The drawbacks can be overcome by governing bodies putting measures in place to reduce the overhead costs for publishing companies thereby reducing the costs for authors to self publish their papers through the golden or green route.


    1.Should all scientific research be made open access?, n.d.

    2. What is open access?, n.d.

  16. deanjeno says:

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) defines Open Access (OA) as “free access to information and unrestricted use of electronic resources for everyone.” (UNESCO n.d.) OA digital content may range from “texts and data to software, audio, video, and multi-media… with a growing number are integrating text with images, data, and executable code [as well as] non-scholarly content, like music, movies, and novels” (UNESCO n.d.).
    Given the wealth of access OA provides, it is easy to find many benefits of such access. However, the question is can Caribbean Historians only benefit from Open Access? The answer to this, in my opinion, is a resounding no! Yes there are benefits, but there exists disadvantages that come with said benefits which are intrinsically linked to the nature of OA itself.
    Firstly, Open Access is a two way communication. If all scholarly work is truly OA, that would also include data and resources emerging out of the Caribbean. While the Caribbean Historian may gain access to data previously hidden about its own region and colonial past, a non-Caribbean historian/individual may equally gain data based on Caribbean local records. Even if both gain access to the information the other has, the race to research, publish and be recognised are by no means the same. For example, how many texts involving Caribbean history were published by local publishers as opposed to internationally based publishers? Is the same credence given to a researcher from Oxford speaking of the Caribbean, then say an individual researching the same topic from the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). Which publication may get more citations once out there? The reality is that the Caribbean is to some degree already behind in the research race with some of our own historical records kept abroad by former colonial masters. While yes, OA gives the Caribbean Historian the benefit to jump further ahead, it comes with the risk of exposing data the Caribbean may have monopolised to other foreign competitors as well s open access may work both ways.
    Furthermore, from the perspective of a foreign (as opposed to Caribbean) historian, open access to Caribbean data allows them even more leeway to present the history based on their foreign interpretation. Larger economies and markets also means larger potential viewers or consumers of their foreign content and foreign narrative about the Caribbean. It is not simply using the open access information for ‘the good of all mankind’, but as lecturers, professors and academics, it is the law of the jungle where one other publishes or perish. Thus, there is a constant race to research more and publish more. The question now becomes who is doing the publishing? With Open Access that who could be anyone. Information that was previously hidden for Caribbean historian eyes only risk becoming equally open access and thus Caribbean Historians will then have to compete with foreign historians on research about their own region.
    Notwithstanding the above, it is true that benefits are there for Caribbean Historians through the access of records previously kept abroad by former colonial masters. Direct online access saves considerable costs in travelling abroad to visit said archives. The depth of research emerging from the Caribbean may also increase with this new ease of access to information. So in no way do I discount that there are benefits. However, to believe that “only benefits” exists, and no disadvantages whether few or many, is flawed. There are both benefits and disadvantages to a completely Open Access world for Caribbean Historians.

    UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). n.d. “What is Open Access?” Accessed 20 March, 2022. Retrieved from

    By: Dé. Noel

  17. I disagree with the statement that Caribbean historians can only benefit from ‘Open Access.’ Open Access aims to make research and scholarship freely and openly available to everyone, without any restrictions or financial barriers. In the Caribbean, where access to scholarly resources can be limited, Open Access can play a critical role in enabling researchers to access and share knowledge, leading to greater collaboration and innovation. However, Open Access may seem to even the playing field but it in a way only widens the gap as countries like England who have historical documents and artifacts that belong to other countries will get more historical data and information from Open Access and Caribbean countries will be ‘playing catch up’. Open Access stills has its benefits.

    For Caribbean historians, one of main benefits of open access is that it can increase the effect and exposure of their study. Researchers in low-income nations who may not have the financial means to pay for access to subscription-based journals may find it easier to find and read open access papers and writings. This may increase the research’s image and rate of citations, which will eventually improve the historian’s and their institution’s reputation.

    Additionally, Open Access can also help to address the historical imbalances and inequalities that have characterized the production and dissemination of knowledge in the Caribbean. Historically, Caribbean scholarship has often been marginalized and underrepresented in mainstream academic journals and databases. Open Access can help to redress this imbalance by providing a platform for Caribbean scholars to share their work and contribute to broader academic discussions.

    Lastly, Open Access can benefit Caribbean historians by allowing them to interact with a broader public audience. Historians can help to bridge the gap between academics and the public by making their research available to the public, allowing for a better understanding and appreciation of the Caribbean’s rich history and culture.

    In conclusion, I do not endorse the statement that Caribbean historians can only benefit from ‘Open Access.’ However, Open Access has the potential to enhance the visibility and impact of Caribbean scholarship, address historical imbalances and inequalities, and facilitate greater engagement with wider public audiences.

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