Gold Open Access publishing: authors publish their works in an open access journal to make their articles openly accessible via the journal or publisher's website. Examples of Gold OA include PLOS (Public Library of Science) and BioMed Central. An open access journal may or may not charge publishing fee or article processing fee. See the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to locate open access journals. More than two-thirds of journals listed in the DOAJ do not charge a fee.
Green Open Access publishing refers to the practice of self-archiving published or pre-publication works for free public use. Authors provide public access to preprints or post-prints (with publisher permission) of their articles by depositing them in an institutional repository or a subject repository such as arXiv. Use Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) to identify open access repositories.
Hybrid Open Access publishing (sometimes called Paid Open Access): An option now offered by many traditional publishers where an author can pay a publication fee (or processing fee) to make their article openly accessible in the journal.
On February 27, 2015, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) announced a new Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, which requires federal funded peer-reviewed research to be freely accessible within 12 months of publication.
For research funded in whole or in part by CIHR, this policy applies to all grants awarded January 1, 2008 and onward. While not required, researchers holding grants that were awarded prior to January 1, 2008 are encouraged to adhere to the requirements of this policy. The same policy applies to all grants funded in whole or in part by NSERC or SSHERC awarded May 1, 2015 and onward.
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has developed a Quick Answers Guide to help address some questions about this policy.
How to fulfill this mandate?
For more information on the benefits of open access, please read “Why Open Access to Research and Scholarship?” by John Willinsky.
See also Benefits of Open Access video by BioMed Central.