Open Access: Models of Open Access Journals

The world of OA scholarly journal publishing is in flux and requires patience to navigate. 

Currently, there are:

Legitimate OA scholarly journals are subject to the same peer-review and editing processes as non-OA scholarly journals. 

The model of open access controls both the public's ability to access published articles, and the author's rights to the article once it's accepted for publication.

Gold OA

Gold OA provides immediate public access to articles through a journal.

Full Gold (Pure Gold)

  • All content in the journal is immediately and freely available to readers from the publisher's website.
  • Two sub-types are:
    • Established OA publishers, some of which have an Article Processing Charge (APC).This includes publishers like:
    • Transitional subscription publishers who have transitioned a select number of journals to OA, or have acquired full OA publishers.
      • Wiley and Springer are examples, with an average APC of US$2,097.

Hybrid (Paid) Gold

  • A subscription journal where an author pays an APC to make a specific article freely available.
  • Sometimes the journal editor may choose an article to be made freely available.
  • Other articles in the journal are available only through subscription or pay-per-view.
  • The average APC is US$2,727.
  • A list of options and prices is available from SHERPA-RoMEO.

Green OA

An author usually self-archives research output online (e.g. through an institutional repository).   

Some journals permit authors to also deposit a version of an article from their journal in an institutional repository, but some retain the rights and do not permit this.

Delayed OA

This is usually a subscription journal where access to content is delayed by a fixed embargo period, after which it is freely available.

  • Many high impact journals fall into this category.

Next: Predatory Journals