One of the most frustrating things when it comes to essays, as a student, is when you cannot gain full access to a journal article.
Recently, I attempted an inter-library loan, waiting over a month to discover that my request had been cancelled – other libraries were unable to share the article due to copyright. My deadline by this time had passed, so I could neither read nor cite this academic’s work.
Open Access strives to make academic work freely available online without technological, financial or legal barriers. Barriers, which in this case, stopped me from reading material, even with access to a university library. Jack Andraka, a teenage cancer researcher who created a revolutionary diagnostic test for pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer, stresses the importance of open access not only to the medical field but worldwide knowledge and innovation. He argues that ‘open access to scientific journals is important because then an important financial barrier to knowledge would be removed. Ideas could be exchanged more easily and rapidly and hopefully barriers due to age, gender or race could be eliminated’. 
So whilst this slideshare I’ve created covers the advantages (and disadvantages) of content being made open access by content producers, it is also worth considering the advantages for the readers, who can cite, develop and build on these published ideas – a process made quicker and easier by open access. At the core of education is the sharing of knowledge, and open access reflects this ethic by reducing and removing unnecessary restrictions.
(Other sources have been cited within the slideshare)