Open access

Providing researchers with open access choices

What are my open access options?


Gold open access

Green open access

(Sharing your subscription article)

  • 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 date the article is formally published online in its final and fully citable form (i.e. online publication date).

  • 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 with prices clearly displayed on our APC price list and on journal homepages.
  • No fee is payable by the author as publishing 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

Want an easy guide to publishing open access?

Download our publishing open access with Elsevier guide (PDF)

Gold open access

What is it?

It is when published research is free for everyone to read and use. 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 does it cost?

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.
  • 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 is 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

What is it?

It is a version of a subscription article which is also free for everyone to access.

What does it cost?

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 date the article is formally published online in its final and fully citable form (i.e. online publication date). 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?

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.