What Is Open Access?

Open access (OA) is a publishing model whereby scholarly journals, articles, and books are published online with no access restrictions immediately upon publication, and with little to no restrictions on reuse of the material.

Open access is achieved through two primary methods:

  1. Green open access: OA repositories such as NIH’s PubMed Central and the University of California’s eScholarship provide a platform where authors may deposit approved versions of their previously published articles. No payment is required for green OA since the deposit is in accordance with publishers’ self-archiving policies, with funding agency policies such as those by US federal and California state funders, or with institutional policies such as the UC Open Access Policies for faculty and staff
  2. Gold open access: Peer-reviewed OA journals (and books) operate the same as traditional peer-reviewed publications, except that the publication costs are borne by either the author, funder, academic institution or other entity. UCSF’s Open Access Fund helps defray OA publishing costs, and the UC Libraries are negotiating OA publishing agreements with numerous publishers to enable more UC scholarship to be published open. Find out more about the university’s efforts to advance the transition to open access.

Visit our Open Access Publishing page for more information or to connect with a scholarly communication expert.

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