Open access to publications

The aim of the open access movement is to disseminate scientific literature in digital form, and to provide unhindered access to it (without payment or delay).

There are two main routes to making research outputs openly accessible :

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- Gold open access consists in publishing in scientific journals that are natively in open access. Depending on the journals and how they are funded, authors may have to pay fees called APC (article processing charges). It is important to be wary of the pricing excesses of some publishers: the amount to be paid is often unrelated to the actual publication costs, but rather indexed to the prestige of the journal. In such cases, APC rather means "article prestige charges"...

The DOAJ (Directory of open access journals) lists full open access scientific journals. In order to be included in the DOAJ, journals must meet certain criteria : for example, hybrid journals, which impose a double payment (APC + subscription) are excluded.

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- Green open access consists in disseminating an article in open access by archiving it in a repository like HAL (the French national open archive). This archiving does not induce additional costs for the author nor for the reader, who has free access to the full text.

Since October 2016, article 30 of the French Law for a Digital Republic allows researchers to archive the accepted author manuscript (AAM) no later than 6 months after its publication (12 months in humanities), even if a copyright tranfer agreement has been signed with a publisher. Two conditions must be met:

  • The research that led to the article must have been at least half publicly funded.

  • The article must have been published in a periodical published at least once a year.

Some publishers allow immediate archiving of the publisher's final version of the article (VoR - version of record) - check the journal's or publisher's policy in SHERPA/RoMEO!

For more detailed information about HAL, go to :

Why archive your article in HAL?

How to archive your article in HAL?