The Green road – the author publishes in traditional journals and deposits his/her work in an open archive, as long as the publisher’s policy allows:
- Self archiving
- The archiving of a specific version of the article (e.g. pre-print, post-print, etc.)
- No embargo period before the work can be disseminated as Open Access
The Green OA is applied to journals upon subscription (Hybrid journals) for reading, while authors do not have to pay any additional fee for an Open Access option.
Today self-archiving is allowed by most of the publishers. However, it is always recommended to check which version of the work is allowed for self-archiving.
Usually, the deposit of the published version (pdf with editorial layout) is not allowed.
An embargo period may be requested by the publisher before allowing the deposit of the work in an open archive. The embargo begins the same day the article is published online in its definitive and citable version and is applied to the allowed version only (e.g. post-print).
In the Online serials section it is possible to check the editorial policies of the subscription resources.
The Gold and Red roads – in both cases the author retains the copyright, as specific licenses regulate the use and the reuse of the scientific production by the reader (e.g. Creative Commons Licenses):
- Gold - the author publishes the article upon payment in peer-reviewed Open Access journals, accessible without subscription. Traditional publishers (e.g. Elsevier, Wiley, Springer, etc.) provide an “Open Choice” (e.g. Springer) for the payment of single articles through an Article Processing Charge (APC), requested to the author for publication. The estimate of costs is $ 3,000 per article.
- Red - the author publishes in “hybrid” journals upon payment, even though a subscription fee has been paid by his/her institution.
The costs for Open Access publication usually are in the range 500 – 5000 dollars and may vary between publishers and journals. The EU consider them as eligible for reimbursement. They may be calculated in the project budget and declared in the Grant Agreement.
If the publisher does not allow the immediate self-archive or the embargo period is longer than the period admitted by the funder, the author may opt for the Gold road and pay APC costs, or make reference to some useful tools for the management of copyright issues.