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Open access (OA) refers to free, unrestricted online access to research outputs such as journal articles and books. OA content is open to all, with no access fees.
Gold OA makes the final version of an article freely and permanently accessible for everyone, immediately after publication. Copyright for the article is retained by the authors and most of the permission barriers are removed. Gold OA articles can be published either in fully OA journals (where all the content is published OA) or hybrid journals (a subscription-based journal that offers an OA option which authors can chose if they wish).
Green OA, also referred to as self-archiving, is the practice of placing a version of an author’s manuscript into a repository, making it freely accessible for everyone. The version that can be deposited into a repository is dependent on the funder or publisher. Unlike Gold OA the copyright for these articles usually sits with the publisher of, or the society affiliated with, the title and there are restrictions as to how the work can be reused. There are individual self-archiving policies by journal or publisher that determine the terms and condition. A list of publishers’ self-archiving policies can be found on the SHERPA/RoMEO database.