Practice open access

There are two ways to make research available in open access: open access publishing (Gold OA) or self-archiving articles in open repositories (Green OA).

uOttawa supports both green and gold OA methods and strongly encourages authors to deposit their work in uO Research to ensure its permanent discoverability.

How open access works

GOLD OA is the practice of publishing directly in open access.

There are a myriad of options to publish in open access. As in regular publishing, some open access journals are affiliated with large commercial publishers such as BioMed Central or PLoS, some are affiliated with academic societies, while others are smaller or independent journals affiliated with academic institutions or departments.

There may be a cost associated with open access publishing, depending on the journal. You can include this amount in your request for funding, or take advantage of the membership discounts provided by the Library.

There are also new, experimental, open access publishing options whereby an author is a member of a publishing platform or provides a peer-review in return for no-fee open access publishing.

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


GREEN OA is the practice of putting a version of your published article online in an open repository.

Depending on the publishers’ policy you can deposit a specific version of the article in either an online repository such as uO Research or on a personal website. Putting your article in a repository has certain advantages over posting a version on your personal or departmental website.

The University of Ottawa’s institutional repository, uO Research, is indexed by Google Scholar, increasing the visibility and discoverability of your work. It also offers a permanent URL and download statistics so you can track your article over time. You can also put your article in a subject or disciplinary repository such as ArXivPubMed or Social Science Research Network.

Use Sherpa/Romeo to verify your journal’s policy on which version of the article you are permitted to deposit.

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

  1. Pre-Print: sometimes called the “author manuscript” “author’s original version”, “original manuscript” or “Author’s Original Manuscript”. This is the draft version of the paper that is submitted to the journal, or the version of the article before peer-review.

  2. Post-Print: sometimes called the “accepted manuscript”, “Accepted author manuscripts (AAMs)”, “final, peer-reviewed manuscript”, “final draft post-refereeing”, “author’s version of the accepted article”. This version is the final draft as accepted for publication by a journal. It includes modifications based on referees’ suggestions but does not contain final formatting.

  3. Published version: “Publisher’s PDF”, “Publisher’s version”, “version of record”, or “final PDF”. This is the final published version of the article that includes final formatting, page numbers, DOI assignment, typesetting, etc.

Pre-prints are often uploaded to pre-print servers for commentary by colleagues before submission.

The post print version of the article has undergone peer-review. Some publishers may put an embargo on this version. These embargoes generally run 6-12 months, but can be upward of 36 months. Publishers will generally request that a link to the published version of the article be included with the post-print when depositing.

Publishers rarely allow the published version of the article to be posted online. Therefore, in general, it is not permitted to post the version downloaded from a library database. Some journals may have a “rolling wall” where the article is freely available online after 2 to 5 years.

Note that many publishers will not allow a version of the article to be posted on commercial servers, or in a location that makes money from advertising. As such, posting your article on sites like and ResearchGate may not be permitted by your publisher.

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.

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