Green Open Access

Green open access combines publishing in scientific journals (subscription-based and open) and self-archiving an article in an open repository. Self-archiving is governed by the contractual terms of the journal. 


To publish via green open access, following steps need to be taken. 

Step 1: Find out the journal’s terms of self-archiving

Preferably before publishing the article, find out if it can be archived and published in an open repository (self-archiving) and under what conditions. Terms and conditions are usually set down in a publisher agreement (often referred to as a License Agreement or Copyright Transfer Agreement). 


If the contract is not available, look for self-archiving policy: 

What to do when a publisher does not allow self-archiving? You can request an exception via a contract amendment. A sample form can be found on the European Commission website, SPARC, Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine, or the OpenAIRE website

Step 2: Publish an article in the selected journal

You can publish an article in the traditional way in a subscription-based journal (available via subscription) or in an  open access journal. 

Step 3: Submit your article to a repository in accordance to the journal’s terms

When submitting an article to a repository and making it openly available, it is necessary to follow terms set by the publisher (see signed contract or self-archiving policy of the journal/publisher). 


Above all, the self-archiving policy states: 

What can be self-archived?

In the contract, the publisher can determine what version of the article is the author entitled to make available via open access. For scientific articles, we distinguish three versions as follows: 

  • Preprint – The version sent by the author to the editor, i.e. before the peer review. 

  • Postprint – The version incorporating comments and adjustments from the peer review. 

  • Publisher version – The version as published in a journal (with pagination, assigned DOI, using journal design) 

When can an article in a repository be self-archived?

Due to exclusivity of content distribution, the publisher may impose a time embargo on open access. In this case, it is possible to save the article in a repository, but it may not be made openly available until after a specified period. 

Where can an article be self-archived?

The publisher may specify in which repository type the article can be archived: 

  • Institutional – A repository of an organization that typically allows only members of that organization to store and access the results. Example: CERN Document Server 

  • Disciplinary (subject) – A field or subject-specific repository that typically allows members of either the field‘s research community or the relevant overarching organization to submit results either members of that field community or relevant associating organizations. Example: arXiv.org or Pubmed Central 

  • Multidisciplinary – A repository that is unrestricted by organization membership or field specialization. Example: Zenodo 

In extreme cases, the publisher allows the article to be published only on author’s personal pages – but this is not the preferred method, as long-term archivation and availability is not ensured on standard websites. 


You can use the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) or the European OpenAIRE platform to find a suitable repository to publish your article or to search for relevant literature. 


Last change: August 23, 2020 20:53 
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