What are different Open Access versions of publications?

Open Access (OA) Terminology


For more information about any of these topics, please contact the Library

Green OA

= self-archived, usually preliminary, version of an article

Authors provide access to pre-publication or post-publication versions with permission from the publisher.

These can usually be found in subject or disciplinary repositories (e.g., arXiv, PubMed Central) or institutional repositories (WIS OA Repository search). 

Gold OA

= freely accessible FINAL version of an article

These publications are open and accessed via the journal or publisher's website

These can either be published in a journal which publishes only Open Access articles or in a journal which, usually for a fee, allows individual Open Access articles to be published in an otherwise subscription-based journal.  

Versions and Embargo

These versions may be gold (publisher website) or green (other website)

Pre-print = Early draft. The paper has been submitted to a publisher but has yet to be peer-reviewed or accepted.  

Other terms: Author original, Author's version, Submitted version  

Post-print = Peer-reviewed version, accepted, but may not yet be formatted by the publisher.  Accepted manuscripts may vary from the final published version.

Other terms: Accepted manuscript, Final draft, Accepted version, Refereed.

Published version = Final version. Peer-reviewed, published in a journal, and formatted by the publisher.

Other terms: Publisher's version, Version of record

Embargo = Delayed Open Access. Some subscription journals make all their content Open Access after a specified period of time has passed. 

How Do I Know Publisher Policy?

Visit SHERPA/RoMEO to check self-archiving, embargo, and copyright policies for specific publishers and publications.

  • Last Updated 11-Jul-2023
  • Views 327
  • Answered By Sarah Kaufman Strauss

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