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Scholarly Communications: Open Access

This guide provides useful information on scholarly publishing, such as finding the best journal, author identity, or promoting publications and communications.

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) means that electronic scholarly research outputs (publications and, increasingly, data) are made freely available on the Web to all, with no license restrictions.

In October 2012 the Irish Government launched the

This is backed by 20 organisations, including the Irish Universities Association (IUA).

The principles driving the Open Access Policy statement are that the outputs from publicly-funded research should be publicly available to researchers and to potential users in education, business, charitable and public sectors, and to the general public.

For more detailed information on Open Access and how you can make your work openly accessible through Research Repository UCD please see our related guides below: 

Green v. Gold

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

Green Open Access is where the author publishes in a journal and then deposits a version of this article into a subject or institutional repository, such as

with or without an embargo period. A link is provided from the open access repository version to the published version. 72% 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.


Gold Open Access is where the author makes their article Open Access in a journal, sometimes for a fee, known as an "article processing charge" or "APC". This journal may be exclusively Open Access, or it may have a mixture of Open Access and subscription-only articles.

Some exclusively gold open access journals include major players such as:

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.

Open Access Value Pyramid

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