Open Access (OA) makes journal articles freely available to everyone, so there is no need to have to subscribe to the journal or pay a charge to get access. Because they are freely available, OA articles can reach a wider audience. This means that the research gets more exposure and is cited more1.
Click on the video link below for a brief introduction to OA.
There are two main approaches to OA: ‘green’, where articles are placed in digital repositories, and ‘gold’, where articles are free to read in journals. Other ‘shades’ of OA that you might come across include ‘platinum’, ‘bronze’ and ‘black’.
Research funders are increasingly mandating OA and the UK has signed up to the ‘Plan S’ agreement, which means that from 2021 all publicly funded research will need to be OA2.
Different publishing rules and copyright restrictions may apply according to the OA route chosen, and some will involve payment of a charge.
Getting to grips with the array of OA options and the jargon involved can be a challenge. The following pages will guide you through the OA options and help you choose a suitable journal to publish in.