During your search for a journal to publish your manuscript, you have probably come across words like “Diamond,” “Gold,” or “Green.” These are some of the types of open access.
Open access (OA) is an international movement in publishing that aims to offer freely available, fully accessible academic information online. Over the past few years, OA has gained a lot of momentum and has transformed to allow a greater level of flexibility for both researchers and publishers alike.
Given how widely used OA publishing models are, it is important for academics to familiarize themselves with each type so they can choose which one is right for them.
In this blog, we will break down what each of the following types of OA mean:
What Is Gold Open Access?
Gold OA means that the final version of the article is made freely and permanently accessible online to everyone, anywhere in world, immediately following publication.
The authors retain the copyright and most of the permission barriers for the content are removed. So long as the authors are properly acknowledged and cited, the work may be re-used and/or remixed.
A Gold OA publication (book or journal) would be composed of content that is entirely OA (non-subscription). At the individual article level, an article may be published under Gold OA either within a fully Gold OA journal (non-subscription) or in a hybrid journal (subscription-based journals that offer an OA publishing option). Authors are required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC), which helps to offset the costs to the publisher to produce the work (the development, copy editing, typesetting, online hosting, etc.) since there is no revenue being generated for the content. The APC may be paid by the author or a funding body.
What Is Green Open Access?
Green OA, commonly known as “self-archiving,” allows for the pre-print and post-print or the publisher’s version/PDF to be archived in a non-commercial digital repository. For authors who want to ensure that their work can be more widely discoverable but cannot be re-used, remixed, or altered in any way by outside influences, this is a great option.
Most academic publishers offer this as part of their fair use agreements. Think of it as a digital museum, where a document is preserved, and the integrity of the work never changes.
Each publisher’s rules vary, but typically, using the Green OA method means that an author forfeits their copyright to the publisher and there are limits as to where the author may post the work. However, the upside is that there are no article processing charges (APCs) for this self-archiving ability.
What Is Diamond/Platinum Open Access?
Diamond OA, also known as Platinum OA, means that the final version of the article is made accessible online with no fees to the authors or readers. To ensure there is no cost barrier for authors and readers, the entire publication process is funded by outside sources, such as government agencies, non-profit organizations, and research institutions.
This publishing model is ideal for researchers who have limited funding and/or want to increase readership and create social impact.
What Is Hybrid Open Access?
What about the academic who wants to have both publishing options at their fingertips – Open Access (OA) and Standard Subscription-Based? Enter the Hybrid OA publishing model.
Certain journals allow the author to have the option upon submission of their work to publish either under OA or under a Standard Subscription-Based model, meaning that the article (once accepted and the APC fee has been paid) can be made freely accessible online even though it is part of the journal’s subscription rotation.
Articles published under this method will not only be available to everyone via OA, but they will also be put right into the hands of subscribers as well, ensuring maximum exposure. For those opting to publish their article under OA, an APC is required to offset the costs to the publisher to produce the work (the development, copy editing, typesetting, online hosting, etc.). Those publishing under the Standard Subscription-Based option of course would not be required to pay any fees.
What Is Bronze Open Access?
Bronze OA refers to articles that are freely available but do not have a clearly identifiable license. Without a license, an article cannot be reused or redistributed in presentations, course materials, etc. Therefore, Bronze OA articles cannot be considered fully open access.
What Is Blue Open Access?
Blue OA allows archiving of only the post-print or publisher’s version/PDF. Within the Blue OA model, many publishers will place an embargo on the work, not allowing it to be archived any sooner than 12 months post publication.
What Is Yellow Open Access?
Yellow OA allows authors to archive a pre-print version of their work, which includes any published version of the work before the general publication of the work.
What Is White Open Access?
White OA means that authors do not have the right to archive their work (any versions), including pre-print, post-print, or the publisher’s version.
What Is Black Open Access?
Black OA refers to publications that have bypassed paywalls and have been illegally released and made freely accessible to the public.
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