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How to publish Open Access

There are two established routes to make your research publications Open Access (OA): the Gold Route and the Green Route.

Green Open Access

An author uploads a copy of the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (or earlier version) to an OA repository, such as ORO. The Author's Accepted Manuscript is the version that has gone through the peer review process but has not been copy edited or typeset by the publisher

  • The paper becomes freely available at point of deposit to the repository or after a publisher's embargo period (usually 6-24 months)

This podcast explains Green OA publishing.

Green Open Access podcast transcript

Hi, I'm Chris and in this podcast, brought to you by Library Services, I'm going to talk to you about Green Open Access publishing.

Green Open Access publishing has been called a subversive proposal. It's where a version of a research publication is made freely available on a repository or other website. Like an institutional repository, like ORO. Or a subject repository, for example one for philosophers, or scientists, or librarians or economists. Alternatively papers can be archived in research social networking sites like Researchgate, figshare or academia.

In green Open Access publishing the version of the paper made Open Access is generally the Author's Accepted Manuscript not the final published version. This is the version after peer review but before copy editing and typesetting by the publisher.

Typically commercial publishers require an embargo period before the article is made available. This can be 12 months, 24 months or some other period defined by the publisher. After all if all research articles were freely available via repositories why would anyone pay subscriptions or download charges. Will you go green?

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Gold Open Access

  • The final published version of a publication is made freely available on the publisher's website immediately on publication
  • It is often published with a Creative Commons (CC) licence
  • Gold OA usually involves a one-off payment to a publisher commonly known as an Article Processing Charge (APC). An APC can range from several hundred pounds to several thousand depending on the publisher and the 'prestige' of the journal.

Gold OA includes papers in traditional (hybrid) journals where the authors choose Gold, and fully (pure) OA journals (e.g. BioMed Central, PLOS).

This podcast explains Gold OA publishing.

Gold Open Access podcast transcript

Hi, I'm Chris and in this podcast, brought to you by Library Services, I'm going to talk about Gold OA publishing.

Gold OA publishing is where the final published version is made immediately Open Access on the publisher's website. Articles can be made OA in Pure Gold Open Access Journals like those listed in the DOAJ (Directory of OA Journals). Or can be made Open Access in hybrid journals where Gold Open Access articles sit alongside articles behind a paywall.

So how does this work, how come these things can be made free to read what's the business model?

The most obvious means to make articles open access is to have an Article Processing Charge (or APC). Here the burden of payment falls on the author not on the reader.

In 2014 the average cost for an APC from a non-subscription based publisher was $1,418. The cost from a subscription based (or hybrid journal) is nearly double that. Clearly commercial publishers have found a way to make OA work.

However, 74% of pure OA journals listed in DOAJ do not charge an APC. These journals may be funded by Membership fees, endowments, institutional subsidies or volunteerism; and the sustainability of these journals may be questionable.

Funders may expect you to publish articles Open Access, and you may be able to cost this into your bid. Alternatively Open Access charges may be paid by block grants as established by Research Councils UK and the Charity Open Access Fund.

A condition of using monies from funders for Open Access fees may be the application of a CC-BY licence to the article.

Not so much progress has been made making books Open Access. The Crossick Report found that "It is very clear that extending open access to books is not easy. From licensing and copyright to business models and quality, the issues that must be tackled are thorny and numerous".

Nevertheless traditional publishers and new Open Access publishers like Ubiquity and OpenBook are publishing monographs for between 4,0000 and 12,000 pounds.

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