Open access is a broad international movement that seeks to grant free and open online access to academic information, such as publications and data. A publication is defined 'open access' when there are no financial, legal or technical barriers to accessing it - that is to say when anyone can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search for and search within the information, or use it in education or in any other way within the legal agreements.
Open access is a publishing model for scholarly communication that makes research information available to readers at no cost, as opposed to the traditional subscription model in which readers have access to scholarly information by paying a subscription (usually via libraries).
The Colors of Open Access
Gold Open Access: . Gold OA allows the final version of your article to be free for anyone to access immediately after publication. The copyright for the article is retained by the author(s) rather than assigned to the publisher. Articles published via gold OA can be published in either fully OA journals (where all content is published OA) or in hybrid journals (a subscription-based journal with OA options).
Cost considerations. Most (although not all) OA journals charge a fee for authors (or their institutions or libraries) to publish articles. These are called APC's (author processing charges). The fees are usually fairly low in fully OA humanities journals, but are typically much higher in science and medical journals, especially hybrid journals where APC's can be $5,000+ per article.
Green Open Access: Also known as self-archiving, green OA means posting a version (pre- or post-print) of your manuscript into a repository, making it freely accessible. However, the version of your article that is deposited into the repository is dependent on the funder or publisher (who may insist on retaining the copyright) and a link to the "version of record" in their journal is usually required. Often there is an embargo period before a copy can be posted in a repository. Most universities (including SHU) host an institutional repository for their scholarly output.