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Open Access

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Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate online availability of research articles.


OA research articles unlike those in conventional subscription journals, are free at the point of use to anyone with internet access without any cost or the need for institutional login or passwords.

Gold Open Access

  • Publisher makes article freely available on publication
  • Author pays an Article Processing Charges (APC) article processing charge
  • Some journals are exclusively open access, others are ‘hybrid’- traditional subscription journals with optional OA article processing charge for individual articles
  • APCs for OA is often a permitted cost in a grant application
  • APCs varies from journal to journal and covers the entire cost of the publication process e.g. peer-reviewing, editing, publishing, maintaining and archiving, and allows immediate access to the full text of the research article

Green Open Access

  • Is the “self-archiving” of your publications in an open access repository
  • (i.e. in addition to publication in traditional subscription journals, authors also deposit a copy of their articles into an institutional repository such as Research@THEA).

Diamond Open Access 

  • refers to the form of Gold Open Access in which there is no author fees (APC). Funding for the journal publishing operations comes from alternate sources, and is not charged to the authors


  • a subscription journal which allows authors to make their papers OA at a typically higher price than dedicated Gold OA journals
  • Some still require a fee to pass a paywall to access research

OA at no cost

Benefits of Open Access

Benefits of Open Access

Source: Wikimedia

Open Access provides several advantages over traditional scholarly publication methods:

  • Greater Exposure.
  • Faster transmission.
  • Reduced cost
  • Higher citation counts for authors.
  • Eliminates inequalities in access to knowledge.
  • Gives the taxpayer access to tax-funded research.

How Open is it?






Created by SPARC in conjunction with PLOS and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), the HowOpenIsIt?

Open Access Guide standardizes Open Access terminology in an easily understandable, comprehensive resource.

Popular OA Directories








ATU Institutional Repository


Research@THEA is a shared open-access repository that was established in 2017. It was launched as a service for capturing, storing, preserving and showcasing the research output of all the Institutes of Technology in Ireland, whilst also providing a platform for their researchers/academic staff and students to publish and promote their work.

The Research@THEA repository is a free gateway to academic and qualitative research that can be accessed electronically at Here, you can search the entire collections/research output of all the Institutes of Technology in a single search or alternatively you can opt to search the research from a single Institute using the Institute's individual site.

For more information on Research@THEA see:


Use the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher copyright policies & self-archiving to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.

Use it to find publishers or journals that permit deposit of a final version of a paper in a repository, such as PubMed or in an institutional repository, such as Research@THEA.

The Open Access Directory (OAD) is a compendium of factual lists about open access (OA) to science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community at large.

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You can Install browser plug-ins to help you find full text.

Click on the plug-in button when browsing articles to see if full text is available.

Google Scholar Button - Lookup scholarly articles as you browse the web using Chrome.

►Open Access Button - Free, legal research articles delivered instantly or automatically requested from authors.

►Unpaywall - Open Access content from over 50,000 publishers and repositories