Open Access (OA) means that electronic scholarly research outputs are made freely available on the web to all, with no license restrictions. In doing so you maximise the impact of your work as the potential readership is far greater than that for publications where the full-text is restricted to subscribers only.
Open access publications go through the same peer review process as non-open access publications. Open access does not interfere with a decision to exploit results commercially, e.g. through patenting.
The principles driving the Open Access Policy statement are that the outputs from publicly-funded research should be publicly available to researchers and to potential users in education, business, charitable and public sectors, and to the general public.
There are two routes into Open Access - green or gold:
Green Open Access is where the author publishes in a journal and then deposits a version of this article into a subject or institutional repository, such as AIT Research@THEA with or without an embargo period. A link is provided from the open access repository version to the published version. 72% of journal publishers allow this. Specific publisher policies in relation to self-archiving can be checked on the SHERPA/RoMEO database. Green Open Access means there are no costs involved for the author.
Gold Open Access is where the author makes their article Open Access in a journal, sometimes for a fee, known as an "article processing charge" or "APC". This journal may be exclusively Open Access, or it may have a mixture of Open Access and subscription-only articles. These are referred to as HYBRID journals.
Some exclusively gold open access journals include major players such as:
More than half of all these full open access journals do not charge APCs. Refer also to the list of open access journals in the DOAJ.
where authors wanting to publish an article can see whether a particular journal is held in high regard and what the publication costs are.