Open access publishing models fall primarily into 2 categories: gold and green.
Gold open access typically refers to an author working with a publisher to make the article version of record (VOR) freely available on a journal’s website.
The green open access model refers to an author self-archiving their research in an institutional repository (IR), preprint server, or other venue. An author may pair the green open access model with other publishing types by placing a preprint of an article in an IR or other repository while also submitting the article to journals for publication.
- The article is available to the largest number of potential readers.
- The gold open access model allows the author to align with a publisher and benefit from their reputation, review standards, and established audience.
- The author typically retains copyright, allowing them to reproduce, distribute, reuse, and remix their research.
- Open access articles are indexed in the same services as their traditional counterparts, such as MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar, among others.
- Open access publishing creates more equitable access to research and removes financial barriers that prevent researchers with limiting funding from accessing the best scholarship.
- Many journals charge article processing charges (APCs) to cover the cost of publication. These can range from $500-$5,000 and may fall on the author is no grant or institutional funding is available.
- While there are numerous high quality open access journals with strict editorial standards, the marketplace has also been infiltrated by predatory publishers with little to no review or quality control posing as legitimate open access publishers. Authors must use caution in choosing a publication venue.
- Authors who choose traditional publishing may face restrictions on whether they can take full advantage of green open access publishing options. Publishers may not allow deposit in a pre- or post-print server, and even those who do will frequently not allow the edited, type-set VOR to be deposited.