What is Open Access?
Open Access (OA) provides a way to promote broader access to academic research outputs by scholars, students, professionals and the general public via the internet.
Open Access is the immediate, free of charge, online access to research articles. Users are able to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search for and link to the full text of open access articles. Open access research articles can be made available via archives, repositories and open access journals.
Open access can be achieved in a number of ways. Types of OA are:
Green Open Access
The author archives a full-text version of their article as accepted for publication in a scholarly journal. The copy of the article is deposited in an institutional or subject/discipline based repository and is freely available online.
Gold Open Access
The author publishes in an open access journal and the publisher’s website provides free immediate online access to the research article. In this model the author may, or may not, be required to pay a fee. For example, the author can pay the publisher of a scholarly journal an article processing fee where the publisher will then provide free online access to the full-text content of the journal. Variations of this business model include charges paid by an institution or a funding body, as opposed to the author. PLoS is an example of this model.
Another type of Gold Open Access is when the content of a journal is made freely available online only after a specified period of time.
Hybrid Open Access
The author pays an up-front fee to publish their article on the publisher’s website. Hybrid open access usually refers to immediate open access of individual papers, in subscription-based journals, where the author or the author’s institution has paid a fee to have their article made freely available online.
In this model, institutions are also paying to subscribe to the journal. This business model is often viewed as ‘double-dipping.’
OA does not by-pass peer-review
OA does not increase plagarism
OA archiving does not undermine journal viability