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Open Access: What is Open Access?

What is Open Access?

Open access or OA refers to freely available information. Open Access scholarly writings are free of charge and have less restrictions than traditionally published works. 

Open Access Explained

Types of Open Access

There are many different types of Open Access and each are uniquely different. Below you will find the different types as well as their definitions.

  • Green Open Access - Is a type of publishing when you “self-archive” your work. Which is essentially is when you publish an earlier version of your work in a repository of your choice and make it available to the public to use for free. The repository could be an institution's repository (if your institution has one), or in a national repository like JSTOR or PubMed Central.
  • Gold Open Access - Is a type of publishing when your final published work (i.e. journal/article) is published in an Open Access journal, and it can now be accessed via the online or physical version of the journal. 

  • Hybrid Open Access - Is when a journal or a publisher allows the author to pay to make their work Open Access.  Authors can also pay to be published in traditional journals. In addition to that some of the subscription journals also offer an Open Access publishing option. If the author chooses this option, their articles can be made available immediately via open access. The important thing to know is that authors will be required to pay an article processing charge if/when they go this route.

Common Open Access Terminology

Below are some commonly used Open Access terms:

Author Rights: are the rights retained by the author when entering a contractual agreement with the publisher.

Open Education: is a movement that is rooted in the principle of supporting a high-quality education for all. 

Postprint: is the accepted article after revisions and edits resulting from the peer review process. It is also known as final manuscript.

Preprint: is the first draft of an article before peer review. 

Repository -  Is a place where information is stored, they are commonly associated with green open access. 

Institutional Repository: Institutional repositories are managed by a university or organization.


If you would like to find out more Open Access Terms check out this link, it will take you to the Authors Services Website that Supports Taylor and Francis authors.


The Open Access Network also has a glossary of Open Access terms.


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Emma Trevena
UCNJ LibGuides at Union College