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Open access (OA) refers to making scholarly research freely available online for anyone to read. Typically, open access also allows readers to redistribute, re-use and adapt content in new works.

Gold Open Access or ‘full’ open access is where the final ‘Version of Record’ of an article or book is published under a permissive Creative Commons (CC) licence. This allows anyone to freely access and redistribute the publication and, depending on which CC licence the author has chosen, in many cases allows the re-use of content in new or derivative works.

The costs of publishing an article Gold Open Access are typically supported by an article processing charge (APC). The cost of an APC can be covered in various ways, including by funding bodies, institutions, agreements between publishers and institutions, and sometimes by the author themself. APCs are often waived for authors who do not have access to grant or institutional funding, to ensure that they do not present a barrier to publication. We also publish Gold OA content that is supported by other financial models, particularly in the humanities and social sciences.

Green Open Access (also known as Green archiving) is the practice of making some version of a work freely accessible in an institutional or subject archive, or some other document repository. Typically the author’s original (submitted) manuscript is made available, or the manuscript as it was accepted for publication after peer-review changes have been made. For some types of books, we also permit making a portion of the final Version of Record available.

Social sharing is the practice of sharing publications with others, typically via a commercial sharing site or scholarly collaboration network site. See our social sharing page for more information. Our Green OA policies include provisions for social sharing, and Cambridge Core Share also provides a means for sharing the published Version of Record of journal articles.

Cambridge University Press has a set of policies to allow authors, librarians and others to meet the Green OA requirements of their institutions and funders.

Please see our Resources page for links to more information about Gold and Green Open Access. You can also read our open access FAQs.