English Open Access

Gold and Green Open Access

This article provides an overview on Gold Open Access and Green Open Access publishing.

Gold Open Access

Gold Open Access provides immediate access to the first publication for everyone. Funding must be clarified. 

Zum Artikel: Grüner und Goldener Weg

Green Open Access

  • Free, usually subsequent publication (often also called secondary publication);
  • compatible with closed access in the form of a classic publishing publication (print and/or digital with paywall; 
  • free of charge; pay attention to copyright.

Let’s dive into some more details on Green Open Access

Let’s imagine: An article of yours is available in print as well as digitally by a publisher. You are planning to publish it again; this time, however, as Green Open Access as a second publication.

You should take the following steps: 

  1. The publishing contract regulates secondary publications. The contract usually includes a 6 to 24 month embargo period. If there is no note on this, have a look … 
  2. What do the publishing guidelines say? All major publishers specify for all authors how second publications or self-archiving (online) are regulated.
  3. If that isn’t the case, you can ask the publisher directly whether a secondary publication is possible. 
  4. You should also check whether the publisher has publishing agreements with your local institution or university. There are often special conditions for members of the institutions, e.g. reduced embargo periods for second publications. 
  5. Don’t miss to check copyright aspects. You can find the relevant regulations under § 38 Copyright Act.
  6. Finally, you may want to publish your article under the CC-BY regulations.

Diagram: Gold and Green Open Access

Gold and Green Open Access
Abb. erstellt nach Vorlage der Technischen Universität Berlin, entsprechend der Lizenz CC BY 4.0.

Further information

Help and support is provided in particular by the Open Access officers at the university libraries. The website of the Open Access Network provides in depth information on the topic. We have compiled information in German on the topic of Open Access for you here. Translations of these articles are in process. 


With entries in the Critical Dictionary of open access, we begin the discussion on the challenges and opportunities behind the term open access. This is one such entry.