“Open-access (OA) literature is
• free of charge
• free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.”
Open access literature removes restrictions on authors’ use of their own work, allows authors to share work on own terms, and removes cost (to end-user) of accessing high quality research literature.
For a good introduction to Open Access literature, watch the SPARC video, "Open Access 101" (see right column) or look at the OASIS (Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook)..
Gold OA: Open access journals (do not charge subscription fees and make articles freely available online without embargos) (e.g. PLoS)
Green OA: Literature that is available in disciplinary (arXiv) or institutional (Digital Commons @ EMU) repositories; this usually includes pre-prints or post-prints of journal articles (not the final publisher’s PDF)
“Pure” OA: Journal is funded by sponsors, by donations, or by an institution/society (e.g. Global Advances in Business Communication)
Publication Fee: Author pays fee to have article published (ranges from $600 - $3,000) (e.g. PLoS)
Hybrid OA: Journal may offer some content OA,
while other content is subscription based (e.g. BMJ)
Open Education Resources