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Open Access (OA)

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.


Benefits of Open Access

Open Access offers many benefits for Faculty

  • Compliance with funding OA mandates (such as federal agencies)
  • Increased impact for your research
  • Expanded audience for your publication
  • Provide a public good making your research accessible to anyone, anywhere
  • Retain your rights
  • Access to research beyond library and personal subscriptions for you, your colleagues, and your students

What You Can Do

  Submit your research articles to OA journals, when there are appropriate OA journals in your field.

  Deposit your preprints in an OA archive.

Deposit your postprints in an OA repository.

When asked to referee a paper or serve on the editorial board for an OA journal, accept the invitation.

Work with professional societies to support OA.

  Advocate for OA benefits at your university.

  Educate the next generation of scientists and scholars about OA.

Adapted from What you can do to promote open access - Faculty by Peter Suber.