"Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the Internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder."
- Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project
The primary business models used in OA are the Gold model and the Green model (see below).
Access through a publisher is known as Gold Open Access. Journals are traditional publishing venues for scholarly research. Gold OA can be confusing because there are many variations. The Gold model includes the author-pays model, in which authors are charged a fee to publish in the journal, as well as journals funded through institutional subsidies or advertising. "Hybrid journals" offer both closed and open content, charging an additional fee to make content OA.
Access through a digital repository is known as Green Open Access. Digital repositories function as "storehouses" of publications organized around an institution or discipline. Institutional repositories host scholarly and creative works, research, publications, and reports contributed by faculty, students, staff, and administrative units of a college or university. Other repositories, such as arXiv.org, host papers for specific disciplines only. Content in repositories often includes peer-reviewed content (publisher's version or post-prints) as well as pre-prints, the version of an article before it has undergone peer review.
The contents of this work are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Feel free to share and adapt the contents of this guide but please attribute this work to the Vassar College Libraries.
This guide was created by Rachelle Ramer, former Research Librarian for the Sciences. Questions or comments about this guide can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.