Open Access Types

There are various "roads" you can take when publishing Open Access. Choosing one path for a publication does not necessarily exclude other paths; depending on the situation, overlaps are possible.

The most popular types of Open Access

Golden Road (Open Access Gold)

We speak of the golden road when publishing in a pure open access journal. Usually, the publisher charges a publication fee (Article Processing Charge, or APC). The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) collects OA journals that apply a quality assurance procedure (e.g. peer review). In the citation databases Web of Science and Scopus you will find a list of OA journals with impact factor.

In book publication, the golden road accordingly incurs BPC (Book Processing Charges). The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) lists OA book publications from various publishers.

Green Road (Self-Archiving/Secondary Publication)

The green road is meant when the work is also made available in an OA document server in addition to or after the original publication in a subscription journal or edited volume. However, the terms and conditions of copyright and rights of use must be observed. Depending on the publisher and the journal/volume in which the work was published, an embargo period may have to pass before the secondary publication can take place. Secondary publication can also take place for monographs.

Hybrid Publishing

Many subscription journals allow both the publication of articles for which readers have to pay ("closed access") and the publication of open access articles and are thus referred to as hybrid journals.

In the case of a monograph, hybrid publishing means that a work is published in parallel as a digital OA edition and as a print work.

Further types of Open Access

  • Bronze OA: Bronze Open Access means that a publication is freely available on the publisher's website but has no recognisable licence. Without a licence, users have no further rights beyond the right to read, and it is also unclear whether the work is temporarily or permanently available free of charge.
  • Diamond/Platinum OA: Diamond or Platinum Open Access is the term used for a pure (golden) OA publication for which no publication fee is charged by the publisher.

Contact: Kathrin Lucht-Roussel