Open access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles to the reader with rights to use, copy or redistribute (sharing) research. In open access, research is peer-reviewed and goes through a normal publishing process and the advantage is that any reader with internet can access the published research for free. Open access emerged as an action to transform challenges of the traditional publishing model which include cost and copyright barriers to information access. In traditional publishing, publishers own copyright and require libraries and/or readers to pay subscription fees to access research published in journals or books.
Open access can be achieved through different models, which include gold, diamond and green open access and open access research should have an open license or Creative Commons license to indicate to users how they can use or share this research.
Gold open access refers to publishing research immediately on the publisher’s platform or in an open access journal after paying publication fees in a gold open access journal and readers have free access to the published research. Research can be shared according to the open license provided on the publication.
Diamond open access refers to publishing of research immediately on the publisher’s platform or in an open access journal without charging authors any publication fees and readers have free access to published research. Research can be shared according to the open license provided on the publication.
Green open access refers to self-archiving of versions of research published in journals by authors (only if they have permission to share) on an open access institutional repository for readers to have free access to research.
Open access intends to achieve Libre open access (lifting of copyright barrier) and Gratis open access (lifting of cost barrier), therefore free access and redistribution/sharing or research should reflect in definitions.
Gold, diamond and green open access definitions are available to links below:
Open access, open educational resources and open data are presented as different standalone concepts in the scientific field Please, also links below:
Other related sources
Gratis open access refers to online access free of charge ("free as in beer")