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Open Access

Learn more about Open Access and How it Impacts You!

Open Access Journal Types

  • Gold Open Access = a journal provides immediate access to all articles/content without any subscription fees or barriers to access.  These are typically journals established by a publisher or non-profit/educational entity for the purpose of making content open and free.  Most of these journals allow the author to retain copyright, and many use Creative Commons Licenses to inform users as to how the content can be used. 
     
  • Green Open Access = a journal allows the author to self-archive a version of their article in an open access repository.   There are usually stipulations on when an article can be shared in a repository (this is usually called an embargo) and what version of the article can be used. 
     
  • Hybrid Open Access = a journal provides access only for those individual articles for which an APC (Article Processing Charge) has been paid by the author.  This hybrid model is very common among many of the major commercial publishers such as Elsevier, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, etc. 

Versions of Journal Articles

Publishers often make distinctions between three primary versions of an article when referring to the self-archiving or deposit rights retained by authors.  Here are a few common definitions that you may find.   

  • Pre-print – A pre-print is the original version of the manuscript as it is submitted to a journal. While the authors may have sought help from their colleagues in selecting data analysis techniques, improving manuscript clarity, and correcting grammar, a pre-print version has usually not been through a formal process of peer review. A paper will typically look like a double spaced document with minimal or plain formatting.  Some publishers will use the term Author’s Original Manuscript or Original Manuscript when referring to a pre-print version.
     
  • Postprint – A postprint is a paper that has been through the peer review process and the author has incorporated reviewers’ comments into a new version.  It is the final version of the paper before it is sent off to the journal for final publication, but it will not be formatted to look like the journal. It may still look like a double spaced document.  Some publishers will use the term Author’s Accepted Manuscript or Accepted Manuscript to refer to a postprint version.  Often, publishers will place restrictions or embargos on placing postprint versions in an institutional or subject repository.  They may also place required statements that you will need to add to the place where you place your postprint.
     
  • Publisher’s version/Publisher’s PDF/Published Article – This is the formal, published version of a paper.  It will be formatted differently from a plain document as it has been professionally typeset by the publisher.  Library databases will usually link to this version of the paper.

Publishers are more likely to allow authors the right to post copies online of pre-print versions of a paper. Each journal or publisher, however, has different rules and restrictions, and authors need to be aware of what they can do before posting a copy of a paper online or sharing copies with colleagues.  Ask your publisher what rights you have as an author.  In addition to checking on the publisher’s homepage, you can also look up a journal’s open access or self-archiving policies in Sherpa Romeo.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) was launched in 2003 with 300 open access journals. Today, this independent index contains almost 17 500 peer-reviewed, open access journals covering all areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities.

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