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Open Access for Research Impact: Green v. Gold

Discover the benefits of increasing the visibility and impact of your research outputs.

Green v. Gold

There are two routes into Open Access - green or gold:

Green Open Access: “self-archiving” in an Open Access Repository, i.e. in addition to publication in subscription journals (“traditional” method), authors deposit  a copy of their articles into an institutional repository such as Research Repository UCD:

  • The author deposits their “postprint” or their final version of the article after the refereeing process has taken place, into Research Repository UCD
  • It is free for authors to upload to Research Repository UCD and to users to download from Research Repository UCD
  • Research Repository UCD ensures the article complies with the publisher’s copyright policy
  • Note that green versions of the paper are functionally equivalent to published versions, but generally, do not have the journals branding and layout.
  • An embargo may apply
  • A link is provided from the open access repository version to the published version
  • It is important to note that using Research Repository UCD complements and does not replace existing publishing processes and that approx. 80% of journal publishers allow this. Specific publisher policies in relation to self-archiving can be checked at:

Gold Open Access: There are a growing number of open access journals and most of the major publishers now have some kind of open access option.

  • A researcher submits an article to a publisher, which undergoes the traditional peer review process.
  • Upon acceptance of the article, the publisher makes the article freely available on publication
  • The cost of publication is usually covered by a one-off fee (article processing charge / APC) paid by the author. Some gold open access journals do not levy a fee directly on authors, but instead publishing costs are sourced through other means e.g. funding agencies, institutions and professional associations (e.g. Open Library of Humanities)
  • Some journals are fully open access, others are hybrid i.e. traditional subscription journals with an optional OA article processing charge for individual articles. The average cost of an APC is approx. €2,000 per paper. Examples:

A detailed listing of reputable gold open access journals, including article processing charges where applicable, can be found in the DOAJ:

The QOAM is based on academic crowd sourcing and allows authors to see whether a particular journal is held in high regard and what the relevant publication costs are.

Paying for Gold Open Access:

Often open access is an eligible cost in a grant application. Check with your funding agency. If it isn't the alternative is to use the green route.

How Can I Make My Paper Open Access?

Our Information Sheet outlines the different routes, diagrammatically, to Green and Gold open access.

Funding Gold Open Access Publishing

Gold Open Access is where an author publishes an article which is made openly accessibly by the publisher. Read this brief Information Sheet to learn more.

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