Green, Gold, Elsevier, Springer

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 18:34:01 +0100

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004, Marie Meyer wrote:

> Have you seen the flap over Springer allowing open access for individual
> articles for the payment of something like $3,000? Am I correct in saying
> that Elsevier now allows self-archiving of individual articles at no charge?
> If so, is the difference between these two caused by Springer being Gold,
> and Elsevier being Green?
> Thanks in advance, and feel free to post to the list if you think it useful.
> Sincerely,
> Marie Meyer
> Managing Editor
> Vertilog, Ltd.
> Kings House
> 14 Orchard Street
> Bristol BS1 5EH
> United Kingdom
> TEL +44 117 905 5347
> Email:
> Web:

A "Gold" journal is an Open Access (OA) journal, one that make all of its articles
accessible online for free.

Some journals are part-Gold: If the author pays the journal to do it,
the journal makes that author's article accessible online for free.

A "Green" journal is a journal that gives its authors the official green
light to make their own articles accessible online for free, by
self-archiving them.

All Elsevier and Springer journals are Green. All their authors are
encouraged to self-archive their articles (though not necessarily
the publisher's PDF version). Springer is also part-Gold in that it allows
authors to pay Springer to make their article accessible online for
free on their behalf. (But all Elsevier and Springer authors
can make their articles accessible online for free on their own behalf,
by self-archiving them.)

So the answer to your question is that both Elsevier and Springer are Green,
and Springer further offers the part-Gold option (for $3000).

Below are extracts from the pertinent Elsevier and Springer policy
statements [explanatory interpolations added by me]:

    "You can post [= self-archive] your version of your article on your
    personal web page or the web site of your institution, provided that
    you include a link to the journal's home page or the article's DOI
    and include a complete citation for the article. This means that
    you can update your version (e.g. the Word or Tex form) to reflect
    changes made during the peer review and editing process.

    "[Springer] Authors are encouraged to post [= self-archive] their
    electronic pre-press articles and will not be required to remove
    electronic pre-press articles from publicly accessible servers
    (including the author's own home page) once the article has been
    accepted for publication, nor upon actual publication. At the
    moment of publication of the final article the author is kindly
    requested to provide a link from the pre-press article to the final
    published article in order to stimulate usage of the peer-reviewed
    and accepted work.",11855,3-111-12-124783-0,00.html

(Note that the Springer statement is a bit vaguer, but of course Springer
authors too should update their preprints to incorporate the changes made
during the peer review and editing process.)

Stevan Harnad

A complete Hypermail archive of the ongoing discussion of providing
open access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-2004)
is available at:
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UNIVERSITIES: If you have adopted or plan to adopt an institutional
policy of providing Open Access to your own research article output,
please describe your policy at:

    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Thu Sep 30 2004 - 18:34:01 BST

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