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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?

Thanks for watching for more information contact library-research-support@open.ac.uk.

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

Gold open access is where the final published version of a research publication is made free to read immediately on the publisher's website, often with less in the way of copyright and licensing restrictions than traditionally published material.

Let’s take journal articles as an example.

Journal articles can be made available via journals that only publish gold open access. These are sometimes called pure gold open access journals. Alternatively, they can be made available in journals that have a mixture of gold open access content and content that readers have to pay for. These are known as hybrid journals. So how does gold open access work financially?

Often it is via Article Processing Charges (or APCs). These are fees paid by the author to ensure the article is free to the reader.

Some pure gold journals don’t charge APCs but some do. All hybrid journals charge APCs.

APCs can cost hundreds or, more often, thousands of pounds. Pure gold journals that don’t charge APCs 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 factor APC costs into your bid. Alternatively, APCs may be paid by block grants, such as the one established by UKRI (formerly RCUK) for research they fund.

A condition of using money from funders to pay APCs may be the application of a certain licence to the article, for example a Creative Commons CC-BY license

Less progress has been made making books Open Access. The Crossick Report states "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 are publishing monographs, typically charging between 4,000 and 12,000 pounds.

For more information please contact library-research-support@open.ac.uk.

Thanks for watching.

Contact the Library Research Support team