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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.  

Common Open Access Terminology

Below are some commonly used Open Access terms:

  • Author Rights: are the rights that are held by the author of the article when entering some sort of agreement with the publisher(s) of a repository.
  • Postprint: is an article that has already gone through peer review and has been accepted for publication. (Open Access Network, 2023)
  • Preprint: is the first draft of an article before peer review. 
  • Repository -  is a place where information is stored.
  • Institutional Repository: Institutional repositories are managed by a university or organization.

(Authors Services, 2024)


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