Thursday, May 09, 2019

Gold and Green Open access: copyrights and self archiving rights make the difference

Gold and Green Open access: copyrights and self-archiving rights make the difference

What is Open Access?

Open access refers to any publication that is freely available to readers at no cost and has no restrictions/limited restrictions of reuse and self-archiving by their authors. From the author's point of view, it is important as their work gets seen by more and more people.
The scheme of using different colors (Gold, Green, Blue, Yellow, and White) to highlight publishers’ archiving policies was proposed by JISC funded RoMEO ((Rights Metadata for Open archiving) ) project in 2003  under the Open Archive Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), in order to analyze the publishers' open access  policies from around the world and provide information about the self archiving permissions, various  rights and restrictions in standardize and summarized way that publishers impose on their authors.

Because both routes are related to self-archiving and permission issues, it is important to clarify the different versions of manuscripts (Preprints and Postprints).

Defining Preprints and Postprints

Preprint: A preprint is a full draft version of a scholarly article or research paper before it is peer-reviewed and published in a journal. it can be shared by the author before and after a paper is published in the journal.

Postprint: A postprint is a final version of a scholarly article or research paper after it is peer-reviewed and incorporated all the reviewers' comments and now ready to be published.

What is Gold Open Access?

The category of open access in which the articles are freely and permanently accessible to everyone, immediately after publication. These articles are published under creative commons license and also available to reuse as long as the authors are given proper acknowledgment as the copyrights to their work are retained by authors. These articles can be published in two types of journals.
Fully open access journal, in which articles are freely available online to everyone to read, usually after the author have paid Article Processing Charges.

Hybrid journals, which are subscription-based journals and have the option for Gold open access also if an author wish to publish in this category.

DOAJ (Directory of open access journal) is an online directory of fully open access journals (

What is Green Open Access?

Green open access is all about the self-archiving permission provided by the publishers to their authors so that they can submit either the preprint or the postprint version of their articles (but before publication in a journal) in institutional repository making it freely accessible to everyone. The copyrights are retained by the publisher and the articles are freely accessible when the embargo period is over ( though the embargo period will not apply in all cases.) However, there is a limited restriction on the reuse of work.

A list of publishers’ self-archiving policies can be found on the Sherpa/RoMEO database (

“Sherpa/RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding the self- archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories.RoMEO's own database covers over 22,000 journals. RoMEO also searches the Zetoc, DOAJ, and Entrez databases for additional journals.RoMEO contains publishers' general policies on self-archiving of journal articles and certain conference series. Each entry provides a summary of the publisher's policy, including what version of an article can be deposited, where it can be deposited, and any conditions that are attached to that deposit.”1

Depending on the restrictions imposed by publishers on the self-archiving rights of authors there are three more routes of Open Access.

Blue Open Access

In this authors are allowed to archive only the postprint version of their article.

Yellow Open Access

In this authors are allowed to archive only the preprint version of their article.

White Open Access

No archiving is allowed.


To Know more:


Paywall: A paywall is a method of restricting access to content via a paid subscription. (

Peer review: It is the process of evaluating the scientific and research article by the group of experts in the appropriate field.

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