Open Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Open Access, as an option for wider dissemination of research, is entirely compatible with and insists on upholding standards of peer review, copyright, quality, prestige and research impact.
Green OA publishing refers to the self-archiving of published or pre-publication works for free public use. Authors provide access to preprints or post-prints (with publisher permission) in an institutional or disciplinary archive such as most Institutional Repositories and arXiv.org.
Gold OA publishing refers to works published in an open access journal and accessed via the journal or publisher's website. Examples of Gold OA include PLOS (Public Library of Science) and BioMed Central.
From Steven Harnad:
Gold OA journals may cover their costs in one of several ways:
(i) Gold OA journals may simply be subscription journals that make their online version OA
(ii) Gold OA journals may be subsidized journals
(iii) Gold OA journals may be volunteer journals where all parties contribute their resources and services gratis
(iv) Gold OA journals may be hybrid subscription/Gold journals that continue to charge subscriptions for non-OA articles but offer the Gold option for an APC by the individual OA article.
Items ii and iii are sometimes referred to as “Platinum OA” or “Gold/Non-APC”
This Guide was created using resources from Florida International University, Cornell University, Florida State University, Emory University, and Texas Tech.