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Scholarly Communication: What are my Options for Open Access Publishing?

The Scholarly Communications committee provides Bucknell’s faculty scholars with customized information, education, and guidance as well as the technical resources and support services needed throughout all steps of the scholarly communications process.


Open access involves publishing a version (pre-print, post-print, or final) of a scholarly resource on a platform that provides free access to the content.

The three most common options for open access publishing are Green OA, Gold OA, and Diamond OA (sometimes called Platinum OA).

Green OA uses Bucknell Digital Commons, a disciplinary repository (like arXiv, PubMed Central, or Humanities commons), or the author's personal website. You can accomplish this by attaching an author’s addendum and/or the Bucknell Open Access policy to your contract with the publisher. 

Gold OA is open on publication, meaning that the work is made freely available by the publisher. In many cases, this form of open access is called the "author pays" model, as authors are charged a fee (known as an article processing charge, or APC) in exchange for the labor and formatting involved in the publication process, and to help maintain the publisher’s profits. 

Diamond OA is open upon publication, meaning that the work is made freely available by the publisher. Unlike Gold OA, Diamond does not rely on Article Processing Charges. Diamond OA journals are non-commercial, free for the reader, and free for the author.

 a table comparing green oa to gold and diamond oa. In green oa, the accepted, peer-reviewed, not yet fully formatted version of the publication is uploaded to an institutional, disciplinary, or personal repository. The ability of the author to do this is dependent on the contract they have with their publisher. Often this OA is at no additional cost, but there may be an embargo period. In negotiations with publishers, authors are often able to retain the right to pursue green oa immediately. The resource is able to be found via open-web searches (e.g. Google). This is also called self-archiving. In Gold and Diamond OA, the article is published in a fully open accessor hybrid journal, and is free to access for readers. Gold OA requires the author or sponsoring institution pay a publication fee, while Diamond OA is free for the author. The resource is freely available on the publisher's website, databases, etc.

Self-Archiving at Bucknell

Open access publishing does not require you to publish in specific journals. Many journals and publishers explicitly allow self-archiving as part of their author's agreements. In fact, approximately 60-70% of the journal articles published by Bucknell faculty are eligible for self-archiving under their publishers' current open access policies. 

You can obtain permission to self-archive from other journals and publishers by adding an addendum to your author's agreement, such as the example available from the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)

Information about the policies of specific journals and publishers is available via the Sherpa/RoMEO database.

Peer Review and Open Access

Open access does not change the peer review process, and all serious advocates for open access emphasize the importance and value of peer review. 

Copyright and Open Access

Open access is fully compatible with current copyright laws. Open access does not change the principles of copyright, only how the rights are allocated. Because authors retain more rights to their works, open access gives more power to authors.