What is Open Access?

Open Access Logo
Open-Access logo

Open Access describes the goal of making knowledge and information accessible and reusable in digital form for users without financial, technical, or legal barriers via the Internet (Budapest Declaration 2002).


Principles of Open Access in the Berlin Declaration of 2003:

  • Deposit of the complete publication with all supplementary materials in an online archive
  • Free, worldwide, irrevocable right of access
  • Right to copy, use, adapt, distribute, transmit, publicly reproduce with proper attribution of authorship, in any digital medium, for any responsible purpose

Advantages of Open Access:

  • Increased visibility for authors
  • Fast access, free of charge for users
  • Legal protection of a potentially extensive subsequent use
  • Good retrievability via search engines and reference services
  • Encouragement of international and interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Free access to publicly funded research results
  • Accelerated communication and discussion of research results

Recommendations for the implementation of Open Access in Austria by the Open Access Network Austria (OANA) (as of 12.11.2015)  (PDF)

Basically, three types of open access can be distinguished:

Gold Open Access

[Translate to Englisch:] Goldbarren
Picture from Steve Bidmead on Pixabay

Gold Open Access (OA) refers to initial publication in an open access journal. The majority of journals are peer-reviewed for quality. Access is open and free worldwide with no embargo periods.

Publication in an open access journal is usually associated with the payment of a publication fee, the so-called Article Processing Charge (APC) (as opposed to subscription and license fees for journal subscriptions). The publication fee is usually paid by the authors or their institutions. One quality criterion is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), an overview of approximately 12,500 peer-reviewed open access journals (as of September 2022).

Checklist for Golden OA Publication:

  • Check funding opportunities (this link)
  • Inform yourself about fees
  • Clarify services and conditions of the publisher (CC licenses)
  • Additional archiving of the article in the TUGraz OPEN Library (Note: Articles whose publication is funded by TU Graz are automatically included).

Green Open Access

The Green Road is dedicated to making already published publisher's publications and other digital objects available in repositories (freely accessible databases). A distinction is made between institutional and disciplinary repositories.

More detailed information can be found on the Page of Legal Issues about Open Access Publishing.

Hybrid Open Access

Hybrid Open Access articles in subscription journals are ransomed by paying an Article Processing Charge (APC) if the article is published under CC BY or CC BY-NC. There is a risk of double payment (double dipping).