Practice open access

This page mainly refers to open access publishing as it relates to journal articles. Information on open access publishing for other formats is in development.

There are two ways to make articles available in open access, commonly referred to as Green and Gold open access.

diagram showing the green and gold routes for open access, the context for which is provided on this page


Green Open Access

In Green open access, the author takes the initiative to make a version of their article openly available by placing it online in an open repository, sometimes referred to as self-archiving.

Generally speaking, in academic publishing, there are three “versions” of the article:

the version you submit to the journal

the version that has been revised following peer review

the final version published by the journal

The peer-reviewed version is usually the one you may post online, keep this version when publishing your article.
From left to right, icons showing a book opened to a page with a bookmark, a checkmark in a box, and a computer screen with documents opened. Below each icon from left to right are the words journal submission, peer review, and publication.


Publishers rarely allow the final version to be posted. Use Sherpa/Romeo to verify your journal’s policy and whether an embargo is required.

You can then deposit the permitted version in the University of Ottawa’s institutional repository, uO Research. Instructions on depositing your work quickly and easily can be found on the uO Research website under "Deposit your Research"

You may also use a subject or disciplinary repository, depending on the journal's policy. Usually you are not permitted to post on commercial sites so uploading your article to and ResearchGate may violate the journal policy.

Always check the particular journal policy before posting your article. You can learn more about your rights as an author, including how to keep your copyright

Gold open access

The Gold route refers to publishing directly in open access. In other words, the publisher is responsible for making final published version of the article openly available online.

As in subscription publishing, some open access journals are affiliated with large commercial publishers, some are affiliated with academic societies, while others are smaller or independent journals and may be affiliated with academic institutions or departments.

Similarly there are different economic models for open access publishing. Some journals may charge a fee for publishing, while others may not. There are also models whereby an author is a member of a publishing platform, provides a peer-review in return for no-fee open access publishing, or the cost of publishing is covered by collective funding from libraries and other organizations.

If there is a cost associated with open access publishing, you can include this amount in your request for grant funding or take advantage of the financial support offered by the Library.

Consult the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or contact your liaison librarian in order to find OA journals in your discipline.

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