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Green, Gold, and other roads

There are a number of different strategies for the Open Access publishing of journal articles. Below we will be introducing three of the most common “roads".

Image source: Sarah Jones (July 7, 2014) Fostering open science (Blog entry)

Green, Gold, and Hybrid roads

  • The “Green road” to Open Access refers to the practice of archiving a version of a publication in a closed-access journal by depositing it in an openly accessible institutional or disciplinary repository. Publishers usually allow to share author manuscripts that are compiled prior to or after the peer-review process (so-called preprints or postprints) after an embargo period, yet not the final version of record. WU offers the institutional repository ePubWU  for this purpose. The SHERPA/RoMEO database provides an overview of publishers' self-archiving policies.

  • The “Gold road” refers to publishing an article in a freely accessible journal not subject to subscription fees, making the final published version available to anyone interested in reading it. To cover their expenses, some journals charge publication fees, also known as article processing charges (APC). A list of peer-reviewed Open Access journals can be found in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

  • Hybrid journals are conventional subscription journals in which individual articles can be "ransomed" to be publically accessible. This requires the payment of an APC to the publisher. The major disadvantage of hybrid publishing is that articles have to be paid for twice, both for the subscription to the journal as well the APCs (“double dipping”). Many funding organizations refuse to fund hybrid publishing for this reason.

RoadPrinzipPublishing costs Characteristics
Green Self-archiving in institutional or subject repositorynone No publisher’s version; Embargo period (12-48 months); parallel publication
Gold Publication in publicly accessible journalsnone / APC ~€ 0 – 3,000 Often smaller, less-known or lower reputation journals
Hybrid Paying for Open Access publishing options in conventional subscription journals Subscription + APC ~ € 1,000 – 4,000 Established journals; “double dipping,” special agreements with publishers

Please note:

In addition to the options described above, WU has special agreements with some publishers, allowing for reduced Open Access publishing rates for WU researchers. Please see Agreements with publishers for more information.