How can I publish in Open Access

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Two options or “roads” to publish research results in Open Access

  • the green road:
    You publish your work behind a paywall (in a journal with a subscription model), but after publication you place the author's version of your article in a free online database, such as the Document Server (i.e. the institutional repository of Hasselt University), after which it becomes freely available to the rest of the world. Of course, this is always subject to the applicable copyright restrictions.

    Hasselt University has developed an Open Access policy based on the green road. Read all about it here.

  • the golden road: 
    You immediately publish your work in Open Access on the publisher's website, making the published version freely accessible to the public. The reader does not have to pay to access your publication.

    This route is usually not free. The publication costs - the so-called 'article processing charges' (APCs) - are paid by the author or his institution. The publication fee varies between 0 and 2,500 euros; in exceptional cases, amounts of 5,000 euros can even be requested. Hasselt University does not provide a fund with which these APCs can be paid, nor are there any deals in Flanders with publishers regarding the financing of APCs. Before you pay the costs yourself, it is however worth checking whether your research funder cannot (partially) accommodate for them.

    For your information:
    Originally, the golden road was exclusively offered by “full” Open Access journals, but today there are also more and more hybrid journals, i.e. traditional journals that both work with the subscription model and offer authors the possibility to make their specific article available in Open Access, subject to payment of an APC. This practice is also known as 'double dipping', as the publisher gets paid twice. After all, the costs for the APCs come on top of the regular subscription price of the journal. For that reason, Hasselt University advises against Open Access publishing in hybrid journals.

An alternative route: the Belgian Open Access legislation

If the above options are not possible and/or are not sufficient to meet the conditions of your funder, the Belgian Open Access legislation is a possible solution. This law gives you the right to make the author's version of your journal articles - provided they meet certain conditions - available for free in Open Access via our repository, and this after an embargo period of maximum 12 (for the human and social sciences) or 6 (for all other sciences) months. Interestingly, this law always overrules your publisher's embargo provisions. More info can be found here.

If you specifically wish to make use of this Belgian Open Access legislation for a publication, please report this to the University Library ( or and upload the author's version of your article in the Document Server. The latter is then placed under the appropriate embargo by the library.