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Open Access: What is Open Access?

This guide provides guidance on open access scholarly publishing for all researchers.

What Is Open Access?

 

Open access (OA) refers to information that is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. This can include journals, books, databases, and more. Learn more.

While OA is a newer form of scholarly publishing, many OA journals comply with peer-review processes and maintain high publishing standards. More information

Open Access Models: Green vs. Gold

Green Open Access is OA delivered by repositories (Suber, 2012, p. 6). In other words, green OA publishing refers to self-archiving of published or pre-publication version of works that are available for free public use. In this model, authors provide access to preprints or post-prints (with publisher permission) in an institutional or disciplinary repository such as the TAMU-CC Repository and arXiv.org.

Gold Open Access is OA delivered by journals (Suber, 2012, p. 6). In other words, gold OA publishing refers to works that are published in an open access journal and accessed via the journal or publisher's website. Examples of Gold OA publications include PLOS (Public Library of Science) and BioMed Central

Hybrid journals are journals that do not publish all their articles openly, they offer authors the option of making their articles open access, if the author is willing and able to pay a fee. Gold OA journals often ask for an article publishing charge, but when the article is published, it is free for all to read. Hybrid journals are still fundamentally subscription journals with an open access option for individual articles. They are not truly open journals, despite publishers using the term "gold open access" to describe their option. The TAMU-CC Open Access Publication Fund does not support open access fees to hybrid journals. 

Open Access Models: Gratis vs. Libre

Gratis Open Access is information that is available free of charge but the work typically holds traditional copyright and licensing restrictions. 

Libre Open Access is information that is free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. 

Note: When we say the information is free of charge, this does not mean that it is free to produce and publish, in Gold OA there is often a cost to the authors (or affiliated institution or funder of research). 

Learn more about copyright and licensing restrictions

Contact your librarian

Alexa Hight's picture
Alexa Hight
Contact:
361-825-2588
alexa.hight@tamucc.edu
Bell Library, Room 116C

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Attribution and License

This guide was created using many resources, many of them are linked throughout the guide. This guide was also built using information from Cornell University Library guide on Open Access Publishing, published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License