Open Access

Open Access is free of charge electronic access to scientific literature (mainly articles and dissertations). There are two main ways of publishing open access scientific literature. 

Gold Open Access contains peer-reviewed journals with an international editorial board, where the author or their institution covers the publication costs of an article. The journals are accessible on the Internet free of charge. This allows wider dissemination of research results and offers equal opportunities to scholars of developing countries. The percentage of OA journals indexed in Web of Science and SCOPUS differs by fields of science.

Some of Estonian OA journals:

  • Estonian Papers in Applied Linguistics (Indexed in Web of Science and SCOPUS)
  • Estonian Journal of Earth Sciences (indexed in Web of Science and SCOPUS)
  • Folklore (indexed in Web of Science and SCOPUS )
  • Forestry Studies (Indexed in SCOPUS)
  • Juridica International (indexed in the Index to Foreign Legal Periaodicals)

Green Open Access materials are made accessible via open repositories (see below). Green Open Access allows the authors to make their own works accessible (self-archiving) by uploading them in the repository of their institution and linking it to their own or the institution's home page. Green OA includes articles, dissertations and research reports. 

Green OA articles are the articles that have been submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals, have been reviewed and their future publication has already been confirmed. In agreement with the publisher, the author can then make their work accessible on the web, adding reference to the upcoming publication in the journal. Green OA enables swift spreading of research results independent of the publication cycle of the journal. 

Institutional repository is an electronic environment for preserving research works and giving access to them according to Green OA principles, allowing the authors to upload their own works. At the University of Tartu, the environment used is DSpace Thanks to the structure of the metadata of the repository, its content is easily searchable and it is possible to perform a simultaneous joint search in many repositories. The volume of repositories and Green OA materials has rapidly grown in the world as many universities and research institutions have made it compulsory to archive articles, research results and dissertations.

Based on the article "Open Access and Global Participation in Science", published in Science in 2009, citation of OA articles has increased as they are accessible also in those countries where the opportunities to use paid databases are smaller. Articles that are issued in journals of well-known publishers and are accessible either in repositories or the author's or intstitution's web page gather more citations.


  • Björk B-C, Welling P, Laakso M, Majlender P, Hedlund T, et al (2010) Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009. PLoS ONE 5(6): e11273. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011273. (10.02.2011).
  • James A. Evans, A.J, Reimer, J. (2009) Open Access and Global Participation in Science.Science 20 February: 323 (5917), 1025. doi:10.1126/science.1154562 (10.02.2011).
  • Harnad, Stevan (2011) Gold Open Access Publishing Must Not Be Allowed to Retard the Progress of Green Open Access Self-Archiving. Logos (forthcoming) (10.02.2011).