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Open Access publishing is defined as literature that is online, free of most copyright restrictions, and accessible without paid subscriptions. In traditional (or closed) publishing models, publishers typically retain copyright, which can prevent dissemination and restrict access.
There are two modes of Open Access Publishing: The Green Route and the Gold Route.
In the Green Route to Open Access publishing, authors self-archive (upload) their personal author copy (known as a post-print) to the author's institutional repository or personal website. More than 90% of publishers permit this use, though some publishers impose an embargo period. Green Open Access generally restricts the use of the publishers PDF copy. For information on retaining or regaining the right to self-archive, check out our author rights page. For a guide to self-archiving, including the difference between a post-print copy and a publisher pdf, go to the self-archiving page.
In the Gold Route to Open Access publishing, articles are published directly to an Open Access journal. This often allows the author to retain many of the rights to their work. Gold Route publishing generally costs money; even non-profit open access publishers will often charge an open access publication fee. Some for-profit publishers of closed access journals have launched open access journals, or hybrid journals in which some articles are open access and some are closed. For information on evaluating open access journals, check out this guide.