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There are two routes for making your research outputs available via open access - the paid Gold route and the free self-archiving Green route.
Gold open access is the pay to publish route. You publish either in a fully open access journal or choose the open access option in a hybrid journal. An article processing charge (APC) is then paid to the publisher by you or your institution and after going through the usual peer-review process, the article is made freely available for anyone to read as soon as it is published on the journal website. Even if you choose this route, deposit in subject and institutional repositories is usually allowed
Green open access is the free route. You deposit a copy of your research output in an institutional repository or a subject repository, making the full text freely available. Most publishers permit the deposit of the author’s final pre-publication version – the peer-reviewed accepted manuscript. An embargo period may apply, depending on the publisher’s self archiving policy – for subscription based journals, you can check these using Sherpa/RoMEO.