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Open Access & Open Content

Open Access is the free, online copies of peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers, as well as technical reports, policy papers, theses and working papers. In most cases there are no licensing restrictions on their use by readers. They can therefore be used freely for research, teaching and other purposes.

There are two ways of using Open Access to increase the reach and exposure of scholarly output; namely the 'green route' and the 'gold route'.

Green Route

Placing a version of a journal article published in a conventional journal in an open access repository.


Many publishers allow the deposit of journal articles. The SHERPA/RoMEO website provides the definitive list of publishers' copyright agreements & retained author rights.

A growing amount of UCT's scholarly work is available in its institutional repository, OpenUCT. UCT has an Open Access Policy that encourages its scholars to make their research and teaching material available online. UCT Libraries are the custodians of this Policy.

Gold Route

In South Africa, the 'gold route' of local journals is supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), through the Academy of Sciences of South Africa's journal publishing initiative, called SciELO South Africa.

These local journals receive support on this online open access platform, where they benefit from the addition of meta-tagging for local and regional impact measurement.

A comprehensive list of Open Access journals in all subject areas is available in the Directory of Open Access Journals.
To find out more about Open Access at UCT, contact OpenUCT's Access and Visibility Services.

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