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Open Access

A guide to understanding Open Access.

Types of Open Access

Green – OA Repositories

A completely free and open repository where authors and readers can upload and download items of all types.

Green repositories may contain sub-sections for preprints and accepted manuscripts, as well as published research outputs.

Once published, preprints may only remain in a green repository if allowed under the publication contract terms. Although most University repositories aim to make research outputs openly available, they usually contain a combination of Open Access full text and some restricted items under copyright or embargo.

What About ResearchGate, and other Sharing Sites?

Scholarly networking sites such as ResearchGate and are platforms whose primary aim is to connect researchers with common interests. While they offer some benefits to researchers they are not considered to be open access repositories. Institutional or discipline based repositories are generally non-profit whereas scholarly networking sites are commercial entities whose business models include selling advertising, job postings and even selling research data. This does not comply with open access principles, and such sites will not comply with OA mandates or policies.

Diamond / Gold – OA Journals

Full content of the journal is Open Access

Articles have a Creative Commons License applied, which specifies how the article can be used.

‘Diamond’ journals are free for readers to access and for authors to publish in.

‘Gold’ journals charge an article processing charge (APC) to authors for inclusion in the journal. This may be paid by the individual author or their institution. APCs vary and are often prohibitively expensive.

Check that a Gold or Diamond journal is legitimate and non-predatory at Think Check Submit.

Hybrid – Semi-OA Journals

Only some articles are Open Access

An APC is paid for an individual article to be made open access in an otherwise subscription journal. These APCs are usually higher than for Gold journals.

Hybrid open access is discouraged by universities in Australia and New Zealand as commercially predatory, unless part of Transformative Agreements (also known as Read-and-Publish Agreements) between publishers and consortia of University libraries. Consortia members may publish in these journals without APCs. The University of Divinity is not currently part of any Transformative Agreements.

Check that a Hybrid journal is legitimate and non-predatory at Think Check Submit.