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Open Access: Routes to OA

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

Gold Open Access (Open Access at the point of publication)

Gold Open Access: There are now many open access journals and platforms where researchers can make their articles openly accessible at the point of publication. 

  • A researcher submits an article to a publisher, which then undergoes the traditional peer review process.
  • Upon acceptance of the article, the publisher makes the article freely available at the point of publication
  • The cost of publication is usually covered by a one-off fee (article processing charge / APC) paid by the author. The average cost of an APC is approx. €2,000 per paper. 
  • 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). This is sometimes called platinum or diamond open access.
  • Some journals are fully open access, others are hybrid i.e. traditional subscription journals with an optional OA article processing charge for individual articles. 

Green Open Access (Self-archiving)

Green Open Access refers to “self-archiving” your publications in an open access repository, i.e. in addition to publication in traditional subscription journals, authors also deposit a copy of their articles into an institutional repository such as Research Repository UCD.

  • The author deposits their postprint/author's accepted-manuscript/final version of the article after all post-peer review revisions have been made (but before copy-editing, branding and layout etc. have been applied by the publisher) into Research Repository UCD
  • It is free for authors to upload to Research Repository UCD and for users to download from Research Repository UCD
  • Research Repository UCD ensures that sharing the article complies with the publisher’s copyright policy - in some cases an embargo may apply. 98% of journal articles which are uploaded to Research Repository UCD are approved for sharing in full compliance with publishers' policies. Specific publisher policies in relation to self-archiving can be checked at Sherpa Romeo.
  • A link is provided from the open access repository version to the published version
  • Using Research Repository UCD complements, and does not replace, existing publishing processes. 

Making your research Open Access and complying with funder requirements

Which open access/creative commons licence should I select?

Creative Commons (CC) licences do not replace copyright. By adopting CC licences authors allow others to use their published work more flexibly. We recommend that you first check if your funding body requires or prefers a specific licence.

The most common CC licences are:

CC BY logo
CC BY: This licence lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

CC BY-NC logo
CC BY-NC: This licence lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

CC BY NC-ND logo
CC BY-NC-ND: This licence is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.


For more information on the full range of CC licensing options, and advice on choosing the right licence for your research, see the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning's open licensing toolkit.