How to publish in Open Access

The ways towards Open Access | Open Access at a glance

The ways towards Open Access

There are many ways of opening scientific publications: the Platinum Road and Gold Road, the Green Road and the Hybrid Road. These roads are not mutually exclusive and accepted by most institutional and funder's Open Access policies.

Before delving into the details of each way towards Open Access, understanding manuscript versions is key to publishing your work in Open Access legally.

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Platinum Open Access

Hybrid Open Access refers to the immediate Open Access publication where authors need not pay article processing charges.

Platinum Open Access works are usually protected by an open licence, such as Creative Commons.

Gold Open Access

The Gold Road refers to the immediate Open Access publication.

This is possible either through purely Open Access journals, or by agreement with the publisher for books.

  • The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) lists academic, peer reviewed Open Access books. OpenEdition is another Open Access Book platform mainly for books in French. Both are excellent sources to get to know the publishers who already publish books in Open Access.

Open Access works published via the Gold road are usually protected by an open licence, such as Creative Commons.

Academic publishing is not free. Gold Open Access shifts the financial flow towards the editor from the reader to the author. Therefore, Gold Open Access is an "author pays" mode and implies paying article processing charges (APC) or book processing charges (BPC). APC and BPC of purely Gold Open Access is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Green Open Access

The Green Road refers to the parallel publication of a version of the manuscript in an open repository, or self-archiving. Open repositories can be institutional, as our own Serval, or disciplinary.

The publication is often delayed (embargo period) and allowed only for the author accepted manuscript (AAM), also known as postprint. This is the manuscript accepted for publication (post peer-reviewed), but before all copyediting by the editor.

SHERPA/RoMEO is an excellent resource when trying to learn a publisher's policy on self-archiving. Héloïse is a similar service available for francophone journals.

Hybrid Open Access

Hybrid Open Access is a special case of immediate Open Access in which journals that are subscription-based offer the possibility to authors of publishing their individual article in Open Access by paying the corresponding APCs.

This model presents the "double-dipping" dilemma, in which publishers are paid by subscribers AND authors. The Swiss National Science Foundation DOES NOT cover this kind of Open Access publishing costs.

Open Access at a glance

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