Skip to main content

Publishing Strategy

Tags: English, General

Open access: Introduction

Open access: Introduction

To publish your article open access means that your article is made freely available on the Internet and it is a way to make your research more visible and widely spread. Since many journals are subscription-based and not accessible to all you lose potential readers. As the number of journals has increased as well as subscription prices, not all researchers have access to all articles. This is significantly apparent in the developing countries but is also noticeable to administrative authorities, companies and not least the public.

More and more research funding agencies require that you should make your articles, that are the result of the received funding, open access. The idea is that government-funded research should be freely available since it is financed through taxpayer's money.

The basic definition of open access in this context is that the article is peer-reviewed.

Open access is said to entail a number of impact effects of the article:

  • Increased downloads of the article
    Since it is much easier to access the article the more will read it
  • Increased number of citations
    The idea is that the more who reads the article, the more will cite it

Open access costs

Since open access journals are not financed via subscriptions they are managed through other economic models. One of the most common is that the journal will charge an author fee, or APC (Article Processing Charge). The size of the fee varies substantially between different publishers. If you have received money from a research funder which has an open access policy the fee is covered by that. In other cases, the open-access journal is financed by a university or research organization and there are no fees involved. However, there is one type of open access that is always free and that is called Green Open Access, or parallel publishing or self-archiving. In the next section, we will take a closer look at different types of open access.

Different types of open access

When we talk about open access there are a couple of different types that are commonly used and they are defined by their financial model and article version. As has been mentioned earlier, we are in this context talking about open access in the form of peer-reviewed articles.

  • Gold Open Access
    This term refers to open access journals that are financed through author fees (APC - Article Processing Charges)
  • Platinum Open Access
    This term refers to open access journals that don't have any author fees. These are usually financed by an academic institution or a scholarly society.
  • Hybrid Open Access
    This term refers to the option that (usually the large) publishers offer for the author to pay an author fee (APC) to make the article open access in an otherwise subscription-based journal. Sometimes the journals that have these options are called hybrid journals.

    Jönköping University participates in a national agreement with Springer which means that you as the corresponding author can make your article open access without having to pay the author fee. The agreement is valid to the end of 2018. More about the agreement Springer Compact
  • Green open access
    Green open access refers to the possibility to make subscription-based journal articles open access by uploading the peer-reviewed and accepted author manuscript to an institutional repository (such as DiVA). This article version is also known as the post-print. In most cases, you are not allowed to use the publisher's typeset PDF version of the article. In many cases, however, there is a time embargo from its publishing date to when you can make it open access. Green open access doesn't involve any costs and also meets the research funders' open access requirements as long as the embargo period is not too long. This type of open access is also called parallel publishing or self-archiving.


Illustration of the different types of open access:


          Illustration of different types of open access.



  Open Access explained! [8:23]

  Should I publish in an Open Access Journal? [4:10]

Further reading:

Archambault, É., Côté, G., Struck, B., & Voorons, M. (2016). Research impact of paywalled versus open access papers. Copyright, Fair Use, Scholarly Communication, etc. 29. Retrieved from

Laakso, M., Welling, P., Bukvova, H., Nyman, L., Björk, B.-C., & Hedlund, T. (2011). The Development of Open Access Journal Publishing from 1993 to 2009. PLOS ONE, 6(6): e20961. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020961

OA journal business models. (n.d.). In The Open Access Directory (OAD). Retrieved October 9, 2017, from