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Open Access for Research Impact: Green v. Gold

Discover the wonders 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 route to open access, is “self-archiving” in an Open Access Repository: this means that, in addition to the publication in 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 [link to RRU LibGuide]
  • 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 on the:

Green Open Access means there are no costs involved for the author/reader so it is free for authors to upload to the Research Repository UCD and free for users to read and download papers.


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
  • The publisher makes the article freely available on publication
  • The cost of publication is covered by a one-off fee (article processing charge / APC) paid by the author – “author-pays” fee
  • Some journals are wholly Open Access
  • Others are “hybrid: 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:

More than half of all these full open access journals do not charge APCs. Refer also to the list of open access journals in the 

and the

where authors wanting to publish an article can see whether a particular journal is held in high regard and what the 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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