There are many shades of open access and they are all black

The new colour of open access: #OAOAOA

Open access has been linked to various colours, most notably green and gold. These colours are responsible for one of the most confusing thoughts I've come across in a long time: pre-green fool's-gold and post-green fair-gold.

Green and gold terminology is not good: it reinforces belief that open access can only happen in two ways, which limits the way we think. Cameron Neylon pointed this out in the Times Higher Education over a year ago.

If we want to achieve open and collaborative research, we need to shed a lot of historical baggage. Not only nonsense colours, but journal impact factors as measures of quality, citations to paywalled articles when open versions exist, and the AAAS*.

And then we need people to fill the voids. We need to work together to create a culture of open and collaborative research by changing mindsets and improving technology.

So I'm going to stick with one colour for open access - #OAOAOA - and I'd love it if you would do the same. Does it need to be more complicated?

Open access means unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed scholarly research.

There are many shades of open access and they are all black

*Only joking about the AAAS. Mostly. I am a little disappointed that they didn't have the courtesy to respond to this open letter.

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