Open Access - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Contents


Open access refers to the immediate online availability of academic research, with no access fees (i.e. paywalls or subscription charges) and free of most licensing restrictions (see below for description of some of the available licensing types).

Article Processing/Publication Charge (APC): Publishers may charge an APC which is paid by the author (in practice this is usually the author's institution) to the publisher on acceptance of the article for publication.

Bundling and the Big Deal: Through Big Deals, libraries subscribe to a pre-determined bundle of electronic journals which they have to commit to for several years, rather than on a title by title basis. As publishers' journal portfolios expanded as a result of industry consolidation, Big Deals took up an increasing portion of library budgets. The Big Deal gradually fell out of favour, as it locks libraries into an expensive and inflexible system.

Double dipping: Where the article publication costs for the same article are covered twice, once through a subscription charge and once through an APC, the publisher is said to be "double dipping".

Gold and Green open access: These are the two most common routes to providing open access. Authors that opt for Gold open access publish their articles in an open access journal that provides free immediate open access to all of its articles on the publisher's website. The publisher may or may not charge the author an Article Processing Charge (APC) to publish the article.

Authors opting for Green open access publish in any subscription journal, and then make their peer-reviewed final draft freely accessible online by self-archiving or depositing the article in a repository (either institutional or disciplinary) upon acceptance for publication. Green Open Access can be immediate or embargoed. 60% of journals allow authors to self-archive their work and make it freely available on publication.[1] Embargoed articles can usually be accessed by sending an automatic request to the author for an e-print of the article.

Hybrid open access journals: are subscription based but also provide a Gold open access option for individual articles for which the author (or the author's institution or funder) pays an APC. Therefore, revenues of hybrid journals are drawn from both subscriptions and APCs.

"Pure" or "fully" Gold open access journals are not subscription based and charge APCs only.

Serials crisis: describes the impact of huge increases in subscription prices for scholarly journals, which have become unaffordable for universities and research organisations, and have resulted in cancellation of subscriptions.


Attribution (CC-BY)

Allows the redistribution of an author's work (or derivatives of it) for commercial or non-commercial purposes, provided that the author is credited.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Allows the redistribution of an author's work for non-commercial purposes only, provided the work is presented unmodified and in whole, and that the author is credited.

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© Parliamentary copyright 2013
Prepared 10 September 2013