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.

Open Access policy of research funding bodies
An increasing number of research funding bodies, like NWO and the European Union, impose conditions on the (Open Access) publication of research they have funded. NWO has set explicit terms concerning OA publishing for research funded after 1 December 2015. Publications emerging from NWO-funded research must be accessible, through the golden or green route, to everybody from the moment of publication. It is often possible to include publication charges in the funding application.

Financing Open Access publications by research funding bodies
The European Commission offers funding to pay Open Access publishing fees. Publication fees should be included in your in your application for your Horizon 2020 project budget There is also a post grant Open Access fund for publications resulting from finalized Seventh Framework Program of the EU (FP7) projects. Projects finalized less than two years ago may be eligible for reimbursement. The University Library can help with the application: mail the Open Access team.

NWO will terminate its Incentive Fund for Open Access Publications and Conferences on 1 January 2018. NWO will meet all of its prior financial commitments made to the fund.

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 authors  the right to place scientific articles for which the research was publicly funded, in an Open Access repository within a reasonable time after publication. 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.
VU authors are requested to register all academic publications in PURE and to always upload the final authors’ versions.

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

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