The golden path of open access publishing refers to the initial publication of scholarly works as articles in open access journals, as an open access book, or as a contribution to an open access collected edition or conference proceedings.
The scientific works are available to everyone worldwide free of charge, without additional deadlines, i.e. immediately after publication.
These texts usually go through the same quality assurance process as closed-access works.
Authors have to pay so-called article processing charges (APC) to the publisher so that users may access these articles free of charge.
Publication fees can vary depending on the publisher and the subject area.
Platinum open access means that the publication is permanent and openly available to readers from the publisher's site just as in gold OA. All articles are published under the most flexible reuse standard – the CC BY license.
In contrast to gold oa authors do not have to pay article processing fees. They retain copyright of their work and allow it to be shared and reused, provided that it is correctly quoted.
Hybrid journals are traditional subscription-based journals, which allow single articles to be made available open access for a fee (open access option).
The funding of OA articles in hybrid journals is partially covered by the university library. An overview of existing contracts can be found here.
The green path refers to the additional publication (secondary publication) of a document that has previously been published in a journal or book on institutional or disciplinary open access document servers. This can be done simultaneously with or subsequent to the publication and is possible for pre- and postprints of scientific articles, but also other document types such as monographs, research reports, and conference proceedings.
Preprint: A scientific paper that has not (yet) been peer-reviewed, i.e. its quality has not yet been finally evaluated by peers or its publication has not yet been recommended (submitted manuscript version).
Postprint: Scientific work that has already been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication. Postprints are published in two different ways. On the one hand, a postprint can be formally completely identical to the published version (the so-called publisher's version or version of record). On the other hand, only the content of the postprint can be identical to the publisher's version, but be different, for example, in formatting, layout or pagination.
The willingness of journals and publishers to allow self-archiving is quite different. We recommend that you check the publisher’s conditions before signing a contract.
The self-archiving option for journal articles can be checked with the following tools:
- New since December 2021: EZB Tool to find Open Access Rights
Here, open access rights from alliance and national licenses of the university library are verified via DOI.
- Sherpa Romeo List
Search for journal title or publisher name.
- Dissemin detects papers behind paywalls and helps their authors to upload them to an open repository.
More information on the right of secondary publication see Open Access News Issue 3/2021.
Pros and Cons of Open Access
- Free access to funded research results
(end of double dipping)
- Available for search engines
(full texts without restrictions via Google and Co.)
- Long-term availability of documents guaranteed via persistent Identifiers
- Benefits of digital documents
(save, copy, send, print allowed)
- Fast and free access to scientific information
(reachable to the entire interested public)
- Better international and interdisciplinary cooperation
(strengthening countries without extensive research funding)
- More efficient research
("early advantage" availability before publication)
- Improving the information supply
(quick information about the current state of research)
- Increased visibility and citation frequency of documents
(better accessibility leads to higher citation frequency)
- Quality concerns
(fear of a bad reputation)
- Discovery issues
(little trust in the technical infrastructure)
- Long-term archiving of documents
(risk of "digital volatility")
- Legal concerns
(uncertainties regarding authorship and exploitation rights)
- Financeability of the author pays model
(significantly higher publication costs)
- Concerns regarding the distribution of publications and conflicts of interest
(questions about nationality, institutional pressure, ...)
- Time spent
(self-archiving vs. professional repositories)