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Open Access

This guide provides basic information about using and producing open access scholarship for students and faculty.

Determining OA Availability: Green vs. Gold


Gold OA               

Gold Open Access works are made freely and permanently available from the moment they are published through open access journals or repositories. Authors typically pay a fee to publish their work Gold OA

Green OA Green Open Access refers to works that are self-archived. Publishers may allow authors to place a version of their work on an OA platform like an institutional repository. Publishers determine the version of the article an author may share and may require an embargo period.

Some publishers offer Hybrid Journals, which include OA articles (authors paid a fee) as well as articles behind a paywall. Typically, access to the entire journal requires a subscription and the costs for libraries and scholars can be substantial. Many open access proponents decry hybrid journals as an unfair model meant to solely benefit the publishing company, as the costs for these journals tend to be higher and articles are less discoverable.   

Determining OA Copyright Restrictions: Gratis vs. Libre Publishing


Whereas Green OA and Gold OA describe where research is published and can be accessed, the terms Gratis and Libre refer to the copyright terms attached to these works and the manner in which they can be shared. 

Gratis OA information is available free of charge, but may still hold some copyright and licensing restrictions. 

Libre OA information is available free of charge and free of most licensing restrictions.