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Open Access (OA)


"Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment." (SPARC*)

Publishing Open Access (OA)

Things to Consider

You want to publish open access? Wonderful! Here are some things to consider before taking that step. If you have any questions, please contact the Libraries at

  • Reputation of the journal - Check the reputation of OA journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This independent index provides detailed information for thousands of OA journals allowing authors to make well-informed choices.
  • Author rights - Different OA journals allow authors to retain different levels of rights. The DOAJ is a great way to clearly see what author rights you will maintain when publishing in a specific journal.
  • Publication costs - Many OA journals charge article processing charges (APCs) to authors. APCs enable the publisher to offset the costs of publication that would usually be funded by a subscription. APCs can range from $500 - $4,500+ per article. Furman Libraries can help pay up to $1,000 per year for qualifying publications through our Open Access Fund.

Types of Open Access

There are several categories of Open Access.

  • Diamond/Platinum - Journals that publish OA but do not charge authors APCs; articles are immediately available after accepted for publication.
  • Gold – Journals that publish OA and charge author(s) APCs; articles are made immediately available after accepted for publication.
  • Green – The final, peer-reviewed version of the article is published in a journal, but the article may have an embargo placed upon it dictating when the author can freely share it with others. Meanwhile, the author can self-archive a pre-print or post-print version of their article in repositories like FUSE,, or another discipline-specific, web repository based on an author's contract terms with the publisher.
  • Hybrid - Subscription journals that publish a mix of Open Access types. The most common combinations are a mix of Green/Gold/Paywall access articles.
  • Bronze - Journals that are free to read online but do not have a license attributed to them, so usage in academics, corporate, or other contexts may be limited.


Open Access Explained!