Open Access: Gold, hybrid and green

The golden route
Research output that has been published via the golden route is freely and immediately available on the publishers website to the reader. Publication costs (Article Processing Charges or APC’s) are paid by: the author, the author’s institution, or the funding body.

The Dutch government has expressed a preference for the golden route for publicly funded research. VSNU and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam support this policy. The University Library has made arrangements with several publishers offering VU and VUmc scientists a discount on publication costs, and in some cases the possibility of publishing Open Access free of charge. Currently more than 7700 journals are included in the agreements, of which more than 4,000 titles have an impact factor with more than 1,000 in the 1st quartile. Further information on publisher's terms and workflow can be found on the APC Arrangements page.

Hybrid journals
In this variant of gold open access authors publish in traditional subscription journals, but may offer gold open access to their articles by paying APCs. Open Access is then offered to all readers immediately as articles appear on-line.

The green route
In green Open Access, an article is published in a traditional subscription magazine (not Open Access), after which the final authors version of the article is also deposited in an Open Access repository. At the Vrije Universiteit the repository is PURE, for the VUmc a workflow concerning green archiving is being developed, more information: This is called ‘self-archiving’ because publications are registered by the authors themselves. 

Dutch law grants every author the right to share scientific articles in the publisher's version six months after the first (non-Open Access) publication date. The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has established a guideline that employees of Dutch Universities can use to publish their work in a non-commercial repository or on their personal website. The University Library can support all VU researchers who want to make their publications accessible in this way. We only need your permission to legally share your publications. After permission has been given, the library will  then automatically deposits all your scientific publications in the publisher version (Version of Record) in the VU Research Portal. Details on how to participate in this service can be found on the You share, we take care project page

It is also possible to deposit publications yourself in PURE and to follow the Open Access policy of publishers. Whether publication via the green route is allowed and what embargo period should be observed can be found on the website of  SHERPA/RoMEO, which lists the Open Access policy of all publishers.

The diamond route
Research output that has been published via the diamond route is freely and immediately available to the reader. The publication fee is not paid by the authors but the cost of editing, peer review, online publication and hosting are borne by an institution, association or fund. By making use of voluntary work provided by scientists in their role as editor or peer reviewer, the costs can be kept to a minimum. The University Library supports the diamond route and can assist in setting up open access journals.

The University Library has formed an "Open Access team" that organizes various activities related to Open Access. If you have questions about the above or any other questions regarding Open Access, please contact the Open Access team via

Open Access logo

open access arno akkermans