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:
- 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 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, or with institutional policies such as the UCSF OA Policy.
- 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, or other entity.