Open access

Definition: “Free availability of scholarship on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these research articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself” (Boai, 2002). Different methods of achieving open access (OA) are often referred to by color, including Green Open Access (when the work is openly accessible from a public repository), Gold Open Access (when the work is immediately openly accessible upon publication via a journal website), and Platinum (or Diamond) Open Access (a subset of Gold OA in which all works in the journal are immediately accessible after publication from the journal website without the authors needing to pay an article processing fee [APC]).

Related terms: Article Processing Charge, FAIR principles, Paywall, Preprint, Repository

References: Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), & Suber (2015)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Mahmoud Elsherif, Nick Ballou, Helena Hartmann, Aoife O’Mahony, Ross Mounce, Mariella Paul, Charlotte R. Pennington

Note that we are currently working on an automated mechanism to link references cited above with their full-length version that can be found at with all references used so far.