The golden and the green Way of Open Access

There are two primary strategies for the implementation of Open Access: the 'golden road' and the 'green road'. Both paths - first publication and second publication - complement each other.

The "Golden Road" is the term used to describe publications of scientific and scholarly work in Open Access journals or with Open Access publishers. The submitted manuscripts usually go through a quality assurance process and are then openly available worldwide and free of charge on the Internet.

The journals are not financed by subscriptions, but by publication fees for each article (Article Processing Charges - APCs). The publication fee is usually paid by the authors or their institutions.

The "Green Roads" means the archiving and provision of already published, peer-reviewed research papers as a parallel publication on document servers (repositories).

Such repositories are operated by individual institutions (e.g. universities) or as disciplinary servers across institutions. Depending on the publisher, there are different regulations regarding the time of publication, simultaneous or delayed embargo (6 - 24 months), and which version (preprint, postprint, publisher PDF) of the publication may be used.

An overview of the publishers' regulations can be found on the Sherpa/Romeo page:

In recent years, the University Library has signed framework agreements or memberships with a number of publishers, allowing BTU authors to publish free of charge or at reduced rates. An overview and the respective terms and conditions can be found on our website:


Charlotte Meixner
Fachreferat Umwelt- und Naturwissenschaften
T +49 (0) 355 69-2364