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Open Access@HKUL: Open Access Publishing

Models of Open Access Publishing

When referring to OA publishing, it is important to distinguish between two different approaches, sometimes called Gold OA and Green OA. The distinction between gold and green is only about venues, and not about user rights, or “fee or free”. The two approaches are defined below:

Green Open Access

  • The author self-archives into his or her personal web page, departmental web page, or institutional repository, some version of his or her article (preprint, postprint, or published version).

Gold Open Access

  • The publisher places the authored item in open access within the published journal. Some journals are OA, without fees involved. Other journals may charge the author, his or her institution or funding body, an “OA charge” so that the article may be placed in OA. This last model is sometimes called the “hybrid model”. The usual fee is US$ 3,000 per article.
  • The two approaches are not incompatible and can co-exist. Other conditions may or may not also be involved, such as embargoes, permission statements, etc.


  • Scholarly journal publishers offer a combination of subscription access and open access. Researchers may publish in a hybrid publisher to pay a fee for open and immediate access.  

Bronze Open Access

  • In the Bronze model no Open Access Fee is paid but the publisher chooses to make a publication freely available to read. Many Open Access advocates and research funders do not regard Bronze as truly Open Access, because the publisher can stop the freely available publications at any time, whereas genuinely Open Access publications have a specific Creative Commons license meaning the publication is irrevocable. Open Access and the terms of use and reuse are clearly explained.

Platinum/Diamond Open Access

  • In this model, the authors, institutions, or funders do not pay an Open Access Fee and the readers do not pay to read. This is a ‘publisher-pays’ model and is usually offered by university presses where the costs of publication are subsumed within existing budgets and regarded as part of the mission of a university. This is an excellent model for Open Access, but it is unlikely for it to replace the commercial scholarly publishers in a reasonable timeframe.

Online Resource for checking the publishers’ policies


It is an online service that presents publisher and journal open access policies from around the world. It covers over 5000 publishers and 22,000 journal titles for checking the publisher policy. Input the journal title or ISSN for a summary of the publisher policy.

Checking the publishers’ policies in 4 steps:

(1) Go to Sherpa Romeo and enter journal title or ISSN in the search box

(2) Read the Publication Information section, and make sure you are consulting the correct journal

(3) In the Publisher Policy section, check the Open Access policies for the Publisher Version, Accepted Version and Submitted Version of the article. Click on the plus signs to expand the sections

(4) Be alert of the following sections: OA fee, embargo and location.
These sections tell you if you need to pay to make your work Open Access (OA fee), and if you have to wait a certain amount of time before you can make that version Open Access (Embargo) and where you can deposit the version once it is open access (Location)

To get more information about Sherpa Romeo, visit its support page and download its User Guide.

Journals and Publishers for Open Access

When submitting work to an OA journal, you may consider the following selected open access journals and publishers. Note that the list is incomplete.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

  • DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals across all disciplines.

Open Access Scholarly Publishing Assocation (OASPA)

  • OASPA is coalition of open access journal publishers in all disciplines. It contains information about the publishers, such as the peer review and copyright policies.

Public Library of Science (PLOS)

  • PLOS is an open access science, technology and medicine publisher. It has several peer-reviewed journals covering a variety of disciplines, including PLOS Biology, PLOS One and PLOS Pathogens.

Royal Society Open Science

  • An open access and peer-reviewed journal which publishes across the range of science and mathematics.

BioMed Central

  • BioMed Central offers free access to biomedical research publications. These publications include biology and medicine journal articles, current reports, and meeting abstracts.

Open Library of Humanities (OLH)

  • OLH is an open access publisher for the humanities and social sciences - from classics, modern languages and cultures, philosophy, theology and history, to political theory, sociology, anthropology, film and new media studies, and digital humanities. There are no article processing charges (APCs).

Open Humanities Press (OHP)

  • The OHP includes several openly accessible book series published by MPublishing at the University of Michigan, as well as a selective list of autonomously-produced open access journals in critical and cultural theory.

Open Access Repositories

Depositing your work in an open access repository to share your research and get the credit. The following are some selected OA repositories. Remember to check the OA policies of the publishers and comply with the copyright and licensing restrictions before uploading your published work.

Institutional repository of the University

HKU Scholars Hub

This is the HKU's institutional repository which is a key vehicle of the university’s Knowledge Exchange Initiative. The Hub collects, preserves, and disseminates in digital form the intellectual output of HKU.  It provides open access to items including HKU theses and postprints.

To get more information about Scholars Hub, visit the LibGuide of Scholars Hub.

HKU DataHub

It is a comprehensive HKU's data repository for research data and other forms of scholarly outputs. It displays and shares with others your portfolio of research using the citable DOIs, so that your research is discoverable by a wider community.

For details of DataHub and how to make use of DataHub, visit the LibGuide of DataHub.


Disciplinary or subject-based repositories

It is a premier e-print repository in physics, math, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, and related disciplines.

 RePeC (Research Papers in Economics)  

RePEc is a collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteers in 102 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in Economics and related sciences.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

SSRN is a repository and international journal devoted to the rapid dissemination of scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities, accounting, economics, and more.


Global directory 


OpenDOAR is a global directory of academic Open Access repositories and their policies. It can identify, browse and search for repositories, based on a range of features, such as location, software or type of material held.

Open Access Journal Finders

InCites journal citation reports (JCR) is sourced from Web of Science Core Collection. It provides the bibliometric information of the peer-review journals and offers journal evaluation and comparison in different subject categories.

One can find the OA journals in JCR by the following steps:

  1. Go to InCites journal citation reports, select Browse by Journal
  2. At Select Categories, choose one or more categories
  3. Check the Open Access
  4. Click Submit

SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a publicly available that includes the journals and country scientific indicators. It is developed from the information contained in the Scopus. 

You may explore the OA journals in JCR by the following steps:

  1. Go to SCImago Journal & Country Rank, at Journal Ranks, select Explore
  2. Select the subject areas, subject categories, regions / countries, material types and year from the pull-down menu
  3. Check Only Open Access Journals as one of the search criteria

Manuscript Matcher is a journal finder that launched by Web of Science Group.

It helps match the right journal for your manuscript with key information – the title and abstract.

You may find the OA journals in Manuscript Matcher by the following steps:

1. Go to Master Journal List, select Match Manuscript

2. Sign in with your Endnote, Web of Science or Publons accounts. You can register for a free account if you do not have one

3. Input the Title and Abstract of your manuscript, and click Find Journals

4.  Add Open Access as a filter