What Is Open Access?

In order to stop being afraid of free access to their publications, authors should fully understand what open access really is, and know the difference between gold and green access.

A series of principles defines open access, with two different forms, called gold and green open access, that need to be met. The benefits of open access outweigh the concerns of authors, not just for readers but also for writers.

As a start, let’s discuss the obvious benefits for readers who can view, download, and reuse the article under certain conditions. These publications are useful for accompanying users’ work.

The possibilities offered by open access to authors’ publications should be appreciated by authors, as getting cited and gaining visibility improves the author’s profile, and they reach a broader audience.

Gold open access defined

The gold open access term is quite popular among authors, who know their final version of the article becomes visible online to the readers, with free and permanent access. It is possible to publish their articles in open-access journals because their work can appear anywhere the authors want, without permission barriers.

It’s possible for the authors to add some restrictions, specifying how the article is used, and of course, credit to the original publication is required. This type of publication usually involves a processing charge for articles, which can be quite expensive.

A guy reading a publication

Green open access explained

Those authors who are not convinced by the gold open access should definitely know a little about green open access, which gives them more control of their publications.

Publishers or funders keep control over such articles, and the authors retain the copyright. These articles are placed in a repository and are free to use.

The free access is subject to certain terms and conditions – a six to 24-month embargo after publication, which means it will be free only after that period has expired.

The authors are not obliged to pay a charge, and the author loses the copyright after the embargo period. The readers on the other hand don’t get free access right away.

How to publish articles with green open access?

Writers may publish their green open-access articles in hybrid journals, which means publishing in a subscription-based journal with self-archiving in an available repository. The terms of self-archiving are given by the scientific journal.

When submitting the article to a repository, the publisher will give you one of the options for the article. Option one is to preprint when the article before peer review is sent to the editor. Then, postprint, with peer review comments. Finally, you can use a publisher version in a usual journal design.

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