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Scholarly Communication

Scholarly Communication: The formal and informal means by which scholars contribute to the constantly evolving discussion between them. This guide gives authors, researchers, and inventors new tools and information about the present state of scholarly com

Green vs. Gold

Common OA Terms

OA Types

  • Gold open access: Articles published in OA journals
    • Open on the journal level, referring to journals published open access online and freely available. These journals, such as PLOS One, are peer-reviewed like traditional journals, and publish articles immediately. Some gold journals charge authors a fee; those that do not are sometimes referred to as diamond open access.
    • A list of OA journals can be found at the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
  • Green open access: Articles uploaded to open repositories
    • Articles, often pre-print or post-print but usually not published versions (unless the author's publisher allows it), made available through open access institutional repositories or personal archives. These articles are submitted by the authors to the repository or archive, and can be subject to publisher embargoes. If an institution or organization mandates open access availability of its research, that OA is usually achieved through repositories.
    • A list of publishers that allow authors to deposit their articles in repositories and how long, if any, their embargo periods are can be found at SHERPA/RoMEO: Publishers Allowing use of their PDFs in Repositories.
  • Hybrid open access: OA article published in subscription journal
    • Academic publishers have integrated Gold OA into their publishing models, in which authors, for an additional fee, can have their articles made open access, usually after an embargo period.
  • Bronze open access: Only available to read on the publisher page
    • Limited use, not clearly open.

Degrees of Openness: Gratis and Libre

"Gratis" and "libre" both mean free (for more on their etymology, see Wikipedia), but within the OA world and the larger open culture movement, their meanings are a little more specific:

  • Gratis open access: no cost to read, but reuse is restricted
    • Permission is required for uses other than reading and what's covered by fair use.
  • Libre open access: no cost to read but includes more reuse rights
    • Removes "price barriers and at least some permission barriers" (Suber, 2012, p. 66). Usually by way of a Creative Commons license.

Subject Guide

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Vicky Orlofsky
Research Services Department