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Open Access at CBS: Types of Open Access

In this LibGuide you will find everything related to Open Access at Copenhagen Business School. Navigate by clicking on the blue tabs.

Contact Info

For questions, please contact Claus Rosenkrantz Hansen at

CC licenses

When an article is published as Gold or hybrid Open Access, it will usually be provided with a CC license.

Read more about CC licenses here:


Types of Open Access

If you want to make your research available as Open Access, you have to be aware of the many different types of Open Access.

Some types of Open Access mean that you have to pay an APC (Article Processing Charge). Other types are free of charge but may be subjected to embargo periods. Finally, there is the type of Open Access that systematically and with no regard to copyright rules harvests publisher's versions and make them available via 'pirate' services such as Sci-Hub. The three most common types of Open Access are Green, Gold and Hybrid. Read more about them in the box below.

Open Access Types


"Green life" by @Doug88888 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 cc-icon by license icon nc license icon sa license icon

Green Open Access is the free-of-charge version, also called ‘self-archiving’. Green Open Access is when a peer reviewed version of a scientific article is archived in an institutional repository or an acknowledged subject repository. Most publishers allow this but often after an embargo period.

The version of the article that you can make available as Green Open Access is not the final version with the publisher's layout, but a version called the accepted manuscript (AKA author accepted version AKA postprint). This version has been peer-reviewed, and subsequently amended by the authors in line with recommendation - but has not yet been formatted with the publisher’s layout (e.g. logo, copyright information, page numbers).

If you want to find the embargo period for a journal, see the box below with links to the most commonly used publishers' embargo periods and tools to find other sharing policies.

Denmark’s National Strategy for Open Access is focused on Green Open Access. One of the key arguments being that Green Open Access does not increase the amount of funds spent on research publishing.


"Gold + Ink Backgrounds" by Artist Mef is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 cc-iconby license iconnc license iconnd license icon

Gold Open Access is when you publish in an Open Access journal, that makes all articles immediately available as Open Access on the journal's website. The articles are often licensed under a Creative Commense license or similar. Publishing in an Open Access journal means that authors often have to pay a fee  - a so-called APC (Article Processing Charge). An APC covers the journal's expenses for copy-editing and so forth. APC prices vary from journal to journal.

It should be mentioned, that CBS does not have a central fund for Gold Open Access publishing.

NB! Many publishers use the term 'Gold Open Access' when they ask authors to pay an APC to make an article available as Open Access in a subscription-based journal. The correct term for this type, however, is Hybrid Open Access. Read more about that in the 'Hybrid'-tab above.


"Piggy Bank" by free pictures of money is licensed under CC BY 2.0 cc-iconby license icon

Hybrid Open Access is often referred to as Gold Open Access, and there are many similarities: authors are asked to pay an APC (article processing charge), the final version of the article is made available as Open Access immediately, and often it is published with a CC-license.

The difference is that with Hybrid Open Access the journal is not an Open Access-journal, but a subscription-based journal that also offers to publish individual articles as Open Access (if the author pays an APC).

Hybrid Open Access is considered by many to be problematic, since the publisher receives payment for the same articles two times: through subscription fees and through APC's. This phenomenon is also called double dipping.


"Diamond Jewelry Houston" by Diamond World Inc is licensed under CC BY 2.0 cc-iconby license icon

Diamond Open Access is Gold Open Access for free. Also known as Platinum Open Access.


"5cents" by Pimthida is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 cc-icon by license icon nc license icon nd license icon

Bronze Open Access is when content is made free-to-read on a publisher's website. Initially the article is published as subscription-only, then released as free-to-read (but not to reuse, adapt, or share), typically after an embargo period (varying from months to years). In this way subscribers get early access to content.

One obvious problem with Bronze Open Access is that the articles can be placed behind a paywall by the publisher at any time. So Bronze Open Access is not Open Access per se, but when an article is free to read and download for a period of time by curtsey of the publisher.


"PIRATES!" by Ido Yehimovitz is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 cc-icon by license icon nc license icon

Illegal Open Access through pirate services such as Sci-Hub.

The growth of digital piracy by copyright infringement has enabled illegal free access to otherwise paywalled scientific publications. In some ways this is a large-scale technical implementation of pre-existing practice, whereby those with access to paywalled publications would share copies with their friends. Sci-Hub is perhaps the best known example of a platform where the content is available as Black Open Access. 

Find Embargo Periods and Sharing Policies