The Access/Impact Problem and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access: An Update

von Stevan Harnad, Tim Brody, Francois Vallières, Les Carr, Steve Hitchcock, Yves Gingras, Charles Oppenheim, Chawki Hajjem, Eberhard R. Hilf
Journal: Serials Review
Volume: 34
Number: 1
Pages: 36-40
ISSN: 0098-7913
The research access/impact problem arises because journal articles are not accessible to all of their would-be users; hence, they are losing potential research impact. The solution is to make all articles open access (OA, i.e., accessible online, free for all). OA articles have significantly higher citation impact than non-OA articles. There are two roads to OA: the 'golden' road (publish your article in an OA journal) and the 'green' road (publish your article in a non-OA journal but also self-archive it in an OA archive). About 10\% of journals are gold, but over 90\% are already green (i.e., they have given their authors the green light to self-archive); yet only about 10–20\% of articles have been self-archived. To reach 100\% OA, self-archiving needs to be mandated by researchers’ employers and funders, as they are now increasingly beginning to do.