Hege Library & Learning Technologies

Copyright, Fair Use, & Intellectual Property

The Open Access movement looks to bridge the gap between scholarly content and learners to make publications available to all. 

Open Access (OA) is free, immediate, online access to publications which have few (if any) licensing and/or copyright restrictions. 

  • Open materials are designed to be accessed and used by anyone.

  • There are no paywalls, limits to the number of concurrent users, or embargoes.

  • Creators retain their copyrights using Creative Commons Licenses or other permission statements.

  • Full articles including data and supplementary materials are included. 

  • Publishing process is parallel to that of traditional publishers but shifts the payment responsibility from the reader to the creator and/or publisher, depending on the model.


Green vs. Gold

  • Green OA

  • Gold OA

    • Author releases the final version of their work to be freely and immediately available upon publication by an OA publisher with an open license. 

    • Author usually is charged an Article Processing Charge (APC) to publish. 

    • Example:  Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

  • Hybrid OA 

    • Publisher offers authors the option of making their articles open access, for a fee.

    • Journals that offer hybrid OA are still fundamentally subscription journals with an open access option for individual articles.

    • They are not true open access journals, despite publishers' use of the term "gold open access" 

  • Diamond OA 

    •  Journals that are completely free to publish and to read.

    • The cost of maintaining and publishing usually borne by the organization that sponsors the journal.

    • Diamond OA status has no impact on the journal's peer review process. By making articles completely free to both publish and to read, Diamond OA best approaches the goals of democratizing and widely distributing academic scholarship.

  • Bronze OA 

    •  Articles that are free to read on a publisher's homepage, but without clarity on the specific licenses covering an article.

    • Bronze OA articles may be free to read due to a temporary publisher marketing campaign, for example.

Gratis vs. Libre

  • Gratis OA is information that is available free of charge, while some copyright and licensing restrictions may still apply.

  • Libre OA is information that is free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restriction.

  • While 'free' implies that the information does not cost anything to access, remember that OA publishing still often involves a cost to the author to publish the work.