Peter Suber defines, “the term gold OA for OA delivered by journals, regardless of the journal’s business model, and green OA for OA delivered by repositories”
Gold open access open access may require a payment of up front article processing charges (APCs) in order to cover the costs of publishing in an open-access or hybrid journal so that peer-reviewed articles then appear online and can be accessed immediately for free. This is not a new concept, BioMed Central and PLos are over a decade old and Biomed now have some of the highest ranking journals in their field. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) was launched by Lund University library in 2003 as a one stop shop for users of open access journals by increasing “the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals, thereby promoting their increased usage and impact”.
However, it is important to note that many gold open access journals do not actually charge an APC, for example those published by library publishers and some scholarly societies and membership organisations.
Up until recently, green open access was the main concern of institutional repositories. Gold open access tended to cover the relatively few titles from the gold open access publishers. In the UK, a new Government brought about sweeping changes, in December 2011 BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) published its Innovation and research strategy for growth. The Government sought innovation through “increasing access to public data or to knowledge created as a result of publicly funded research”
This report paved the way for the now infamous report ‘Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications’, otherwise known as the Finch Report. Published in June 2012, the report was guided by four principles:
- Access: to increase the dissemination of UK research findings to both researchers and also others in the public and voluntary sectors who have an interest in that research
- Usability: to allow researchers to be able to find the appropriate research, be it journals, monographs, working papers or reports using the latest tools.
- Quality: To make this research available in such a way that does not impact of the quality or the standing of UK research
- Costs and sustainability: to keep the costs of scholarly communication under control and not put the functions of the publishing system at risk
Finch suggests a move to APCs for journals publishing, the fallout from this proposal has been significant and will have a far reaching effect on the way UK research is disseminated for years to come. This in turn will have far reaching effects on the role of repositories and their workflows in relation to gold open access publishing.
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