What is “open access”?

Open access means free, immediate and permanent access to academic publications. By publishing your research open access under an open licence, you enable readers to access, distribute and reuse the material freely. When research output is made available for free online, It helps spread research results both within the research community and outside it. Readers can access, read, use, copy, print and link to open access publications. 

Routes to Open Access Publishing

Gold Open Access is when the publisher makes the article available, either as a:

  • (Full) Open Access publication, when the article is published in a journal, all of the content of which is openly available.  There is no subscription or access fee to readers but some journals charge an APC (article processing charge, or open access fee) to be paid by the author (or usually his or her department or research project) in order to cover the costs of producing the journal. 
  • Hybrid Open Access is when the author can choose to pay the publisher a fee for the extra service to make the article openly available in a subscription journal. In hybrid journals, only some articles are open access. (ÅAU-affiliated researchers are offered APC discounts by many publishers through so called read-and-publish deals, see “APC discounts” above.)

​Green Open Access is hen the author him or herself makes a version of the publication openly available. It is also called 

  • Parallel publishing or self-archiving, when a version of an article is made openly available in an open archive or repository, by researchers at AKU for instance in the AKU eCommons. Parallel publishing is possible for the vast majority of articles which are published behind paywalls.

Benefits of Publishing Open Access

Publishing in open access journals has many benefits for researchers, including:

  • Higher citation rates than articles published in non-OA journals
  • Greater media coverage of research
  • The ability to archive after publishing in a subscription journal of your choice
  • The ability to retain your author rights and control reuse of the research
  • Compliance with funder OA requirements