Open Access: How?

The Green Road

The Green Road to Open Access is also known as self-archiving. Here, the author publishes their refereed journal article as usual in the journal of their choice but ensures they retain the right to deposit the full-text of their publication in a digital repository, such as ORBilu.

A listing of open repositories containing peer-reviewed academic content is maintained by the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR).

The Green Road and Copyright

Which version should you archive? How can you retain your rights?

Most editors allow authors to self-archive the final refereed version of their paper, called the Author’s Postprint, rather than the publishers final copy, called the Publisher’s Postprint. Sometimes only the Author’s Preprint version, the author’s document prior to peer-reviewing, can be self-archived. Sherpa/RoMEO can be used to determine the permissions offered by particular journals and/or publishers.

In addition, some repositories, like ORBilu, allow authors to choose the level of accessibility of their works:

  • Open access – the full-text is accessible to anyone on the Internet;
  • Open access with embargo – the full-text is only accessible after a defined embargo period has expired;
  • Restricted access – the full-text is accessible only to users from within the University however anyone can request a copy for private use from the author.

Are you considering signing an agreement with a publisher to publish your article? To ensure you keep the rights required to self-archive, standard letters and contract addenda have been drawn up to help you. They are available by e-mailing us on

To learn more about your rights, see the JISC/SURF Guide for Academics. In addition, an introduction, in French and German, on Copyright in Luxembourg is available from the Portail luxembourgeois de l’innovation et de la recherche as well as a short guide, again in French and German, published by the Ministère de l’Economie et du Commerce extérieur.


The Gold Road

The Gold Road to Open Access is achieved by publishing scholarly works in an Open Access Journal. In order to do so, authors may be required to pay a fee. Some journals may waive all or part of the fee if an author cannot afford to pay.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) currently lists over 7 500 Open Access journals and can be used to browse OA journals by subject.

Even though a journal says it is Open Access, authors should always ensure to retain their rights to self-archive (see Green Road).