Our current system for communicating research is crippled by a centuries old model that hasn’t been updated to take advantage of 21st century technology:
Green OA publishing refers to the self-archiving of published or pre-publication works for free public use. Authors provide access to preprints or post-prints (with publisher permission) in an institutional or disciplinary archive such as eCommons@Cornell and arXiv.org.
Gold OA publishing refers to works published in an open access journal and accessed via the journal or publisher's website. Examples of Gold OA include PLOS (Public Library of Science) and BioMed Central. Hybrid journals offer authors the option of making their articles open access, for a fee. Hybrid journals are still fundamentally subscription journals with an open access option for individual articles. They are not true open access journals, despite publishers' use of the term "gold open access" to describe this arrangement.
Created by SPARC in conjunction with PLOS and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), the HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Guide standardizes Open Access terminology in an easily understandable, comprehensive resource.
Before deciding to publish in a new OA journal, consider the following:
Adapted from Paul Blobaum's Checklist for Review of Journal Quality, Governor's State University
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