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Open Access Publishing

How to make research open access

You can choose from two options to make your research "open access".

  • Green OA: Articles are deposited to the institutional repository (CityU Scholars) and will be available to the public subject to certain restrictions. 
  • Gold OA: Articles are freely available to the public via the journal website, and the final published version of the article can be shared freely online, including posting on CityU Scholars. 

Green Open Access

When sharing your work through Green OA, no costs are payable but there are usually restrictions over how, when and where can you share your work. 

Some common features of Green OA include

  • Work can only be posted in specific websites, such as institutional repositories (e.g. CityU Scholars), subject repositories or employer's/personal websites. You may not be able to post your work on scholarly communication networks. 
  • Restrictions on the version of work posted might apply. Many publishers only allow the posting of the Accepted Version/Post-print on permitted sites. 
  • Embargo periods may apply, in which a certain period of time must pass before you can make your articles available on the permitted sites.

Before depositing research in a repository, you are advised to:

  • refer to the publisher's website to check the relevant Green OA policies for how, when and where you can share;
  • check the Copyright Transfer Agreement/contract signed when publishing to understand permitted re-use of the work.

Gold Open Access

You may also opt to share your work through the Gold OA route, in which your work could be freely accessible on both the publisher's website and on different platforms at your preference. 

Some features of Gold OA publishing include

  • While some journals and publishers adopts a full OA model, many journals now adopts a hybrid OA model in which individual articles could be made Gold OA. In addition, Gold OA publishing of book is becoming more popular.
  • A fee, commonly known as the Author Processing Charge (APC), is often payable if researchers opt for the Gold OA route. However, some journals might waive fees for Gold OA publishing due to society or external sponsorships.
  • Many Gold OA journals adopts the Creative Commons (CC) licenses, in which a modular copyright system allows re-use and re-distribution of work subjecting to certain limitation

If you are publishing your work through the Gold OA route to fulfill the requirement of a funder, please take note of the funder's requirement for OA as OA licenses that are more restrictive might not be deemed compliant to the requrements.  

How to choose an OA journal

Use the following sources to pick reliable and high quality Open Access journals: 

What do I need to pay attention to when choosing an OA journal?

  • How "open" is a journal?

Take a look at the guide HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum guide to assess how 'open' a journal is along the spectrum from closed access to open access. (English PDF or Chinese PDF)

  • Is the publisher a possible predatory publisher?

Some publishers choose to exploit the model of author-pays OA publishing by charging fees for publication in journals with low editorial and academic standards. Refer to Beall's list to see names of possible predatory OA journals and publishers. 

  • The quality of some OA journals

Concerns about the quality of the editorial practices of some scholarly OA journal publishers have been raised. Use the sources listed above to locate high quality titles.