The VBN Team

Open Access - Definitions & Tools

Open Access definitions

Green Open Access

Green Open Access is also called parallel publishing/self-archiving, where the author has the publisher’s permission to archive a copy of his/her work in a digital archive (repository). Pure is the repository of Aalborg University. This type of Open Access is often embargoed for a period ranging from 6 to 24 months. In this way, the publisher still has the opportunity to sell subscriptions before the publications become publicly available.

Gold Open Access

Gold Open Access means publishing in journals where the complete final version of the articles are publicly available. There is usually a fee to pay to publish an article in a Gold Open Access journal. This fee is often referred to as the Article Processing Charge (APC). PLOS ONE is an example of a Gold Open Access journal.

Hybrid Open Access

Hybrid Open Access is when individual articles are paid for to be released to Open Access. Thus, some articles are covered by licensed and others are Open Access as the Article Processing Charge has been paid. These fees are often substantial and are added to the subscription price, which the University has already paid in order to obtain reading access to the journals. In overall terms, the university does not recommend paying for Open Access in the Hybrid Open Access journals, if the University has already paid for reading access. Energy is an example of a hybrid journal.

Diamond Open Access

Diamond Open Access means publishing in journals where the complete final version of the articles are publicly available. The author does not pay a fee for making article publicly available. Aalborg University’s Open Access journals are examples of Diamond Open Access journals.

Bronze Open Access

Bronze Open Access is when single articles are publicly available, but copyright remains with the publisher/journal and the articles cannot be archived elsewhere as Open Access.

Black Open Access

Black Open Access is prohibited Open Access. Articles that are uploaded illegally to various platforms such as Research Gate, Academia, Mendeley etc.

Predatory journals

Predatory journals are journals of a questionable quality that are established with the sole purpose to make money without making use of traditional publishing compensatory measures such as peer-reviewing. You can use Cabell's predatory reports to see if a journal is categorized as a predatory journal.

Document versions

Publishers/journals work with different document versions. It varies which document versions they permit for self-archiving.


The preprint version of an article, is the version that has yet to be peer-reviewed. This is also referred to as “submitted version” or “pre-referred draft”. In Pure, this version corresponds to “Submitted manuscript".


The postprint version, is the version of the article that has been through the peer-review process, but has yet to comply with the layout of the journal. This is also referred to as “author’s final version” or “accepted version”. In Pure, this version corresponds to "Accepted manuscript" or "Accepted author manuscript".

Publisher's version

The publisher’s version, is the version of the article that is published in the journal’s layout. It is also called "Version of record". In Pure, this version corresponds to "the imprint published version" or "Final published version".


Creative Commons

Most Gold and Diamond Open Access journals are published with a so-called CC-license. Creative Commons’ system of licenses is used to indicate the extent to which the said work may be used by others. Creative Commons is a free and internationally recognized system that provides the possibility of tailoring copyright for each individual publication. Watch the video about Creative Commons.


Open Access tools


In the Sherpa/Romeo database, you can find indicative guidelines for most publishers’/journals’ policies for self-archiving/parallel publishing.

How Can I Share It

A website where researchers can check the possibility for sharing articles


A tool that can be integrated in your Internet browser, and which has a green button that indicates whether an article is publicly available.


A checklist to go through before you submit your article. Is used to avoid predatory journals

Cabell's predatory reports

A list of more than 13.000 journals of questionable quality due to lack of e.g. information on peer-reviewing, contact information and purpose, so-called "predatory journals ". Read more about the list.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Comprehensive database of Gold Open Access journals. All DOAJ’s journals are peer-reviewed and have undergone a quality check prior to indexing in the database.