Rhetorical Analysis on Open Access

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The websites analyzed:

http://www.plos.org/about/open-access/

http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/brief.htm

http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/

One thing that all three of these websites had in common was that they all started with the definition of Open Access. The very first sentence you read would tell you what they were talking about. In a way, this establishes ethos with the reader because this communicates that the author knows what he/she is talking about.

about-oa-OA-orange-squareAll three websites make several but similar claims about Open Access. The first website claims that researchers think that the information they are accessing is free. But in reality that information is paid for by the institution providing the information. It goes on to claim that it is illogical to pay for digital information since anyone with Internet can access it. It concludes its argument by appealing to the audience by listing three ways Open Access can benefit research.

The second website (written by Peter Suber)starts by appealing to the audience with the definition of Open Access. It tells the audience that it provides information free of charge and copyright laws. This appeals to people who had to go through the long and painful process of asking for permission, citing, and always checking back multiple times to make sure they didn’t plagiarize. That sentence reassures the audience that they no longer have to worry about those things. It then goes on to say that Open Access is “compatible with peer review” (Suber). This is important because Suber claims that literature depends on peer review a lot. Without it, authors would never get criticism for their work. Suber then ends the article with two ways to use Open Access in research articles.

Lastly, the third website opens with the “two roads” (golden and green) of Open Access. This article mainly focuses on the “green road”. The green road talks about Open Access self-archiving. Stevan Harnad (the author of the article) adds that self-archiving is not the same as self-publishing. He then goes on to appeal to his audience by stating that everyone benefits from Open Access. He calls Open Access an “accelerated research cycle” where information can get around easier and faster because researchers would have access to what they need. He appeals to his older audience by saying that Universities and teachers can also benefit from Open Access. He ends his article with a call to action: create Institutional Open Access Repositories.

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