Open access

Providing researchers with open access choices

What are my open access options?

Open access publishing

(gold open access)

Sharing your subscription article

(green open access)

Options Open access journals Journals which support open access
  • Public access is to the final published article
  • Access is immediate
  • Free access to a version of your article
  • Time delay may apply (embargo period)

    The embargo period is journal specific and typically ranges from 12- 24 months. The embargo period begins from the final date of publication.

  • Open access fee is paid by the author, or on their behalf

    for example by their institution or funding body.

  • Fees range between $500 and $5,000 US Dollars depending on the journal.
  • No fee is payable by the author as costs are covered by library subscriptions.
  • Authors can choose between a commercial and noncommercial user license.

This is a specific license, such as a Creative Commons license, which is applied to your article and determines how readers can use, download and share your article.

 open access journals1600+ journals which support open accessLearn about green open access

Publishing gold open access

Research which is published gold open access means that it is free for everyone to read. Here is how it works:

Published articles are:

  • Peer reviewed
  • Immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download
  • Able to be reused in a number of different ways as defined by the user license
  • Permanently preserved in our digital archives
  • Have CrossMark® which links copies of the article to the final version of record to maintain the publication record

What it costs

All gold open access articles are free for everyone to read. We can provide gold open access services because the article publishing charge (APC) that authors, their institutions or funding bodies pay covers all expenses needed to support the publication process. Our APCs range from $500-$5000 USD and specific prices can be found on the individual journal’s homepages.

Where can you publish? 

  • Open access journals: Do not have any subscribers and publish all their articles gold open access. See a list of Open Access journals published by Elsevier 
  • Hybrid journals: Support open access and are two journals in one: a subscription journal and an open access journal. After acceptance authors can choose how they wish to publish and broadcast their research. See a list of journals which support open access 
  • Subsidized journals: Published research is free to read and the APC is subsidized by an organization or society which means authors do not need to directly pay.
    Complying with policies
  • We are also able to help researchers in complying with the policies of their funders and institutions. We have established a number of agreements with organizations such as the Wellcome Trust, Research Councils UK, which help outline the compliant open access options available to researchers. See our list of funding body agreements.


Everyone will be able to download, copy and share gold open access articles. We provide authors with a choice of publishing under either the Creative Commons licenses CC-BY or the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND user license. These licenses will help maximize the impact of your article, getting the most spread and use out of it. Click here for the details.

Green open access

Research which is published as a subscription article can be accessed and downloaded by subscribers. Everybody can also access this research for free through green open access. Here is how it works:

What it costs? 

Green open access is possible because subscribers pay all the expenses needed to support the publication process. This means authors do not need to pay any additional charges.

When can you share? 

Millions of researchers have subscriptions to immediately access research on ScienceDirect. To enable open access for a subscription article a time delay, known as an embargo period, is needed. This begins from the publication date of the issue the article appears in. Our embargo periods typically range from 12 – 24 months and specific embargo periods can be found on the individual journal homepages. Download embargo period list 

How can you share? 

  • Linking: Sharing a link to the article can be done immediately either via our Share Link service or with the article’s permanent address (DOI) 
  • Open Archives: Everyone can read and download free archived material in 98 Elsevier journals after an embargo period. See a list of journals with open archives.
  • Self-archiving: Authors can post a copy of their research for everyone to read for free. See our sharing policy for details.

New services 

There are also alternative ways Elsevier is enabling linking to articles. For example, if your funder partners with CHORUS, all readers will be able search for your article and follow a link to ScienceDirect where they can access either the final version of the article or the accepted manuscript.