An Austrian proposal for the Classification of Open Access Tuples (COAT) – Distinguish different Open Access types beyond colors

Patrick Danowski


In this article a model is described how Open Access definitions can be formed on the basis of objective criteria. The common Open Access definitions such as "gold" and "green" are not exactly defined. This becomes a problem as soon as one begins to measure Open Access, for example if the development of the Open Access share should be monitored. This was discussed in the working group on Open Access Monitoring of the AT2OA project and the present model was developed, which is based on 5 critics with 4 characteristics: location, licence, version, embargo and conditions of the Open Access publication are taken into account. In the meantime, the model has also been tested in practice using R scripts, and the initial results are quite promising.


Open Access Monitoring; Open Access Definitions; Gold Open Access; Green Open Access


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* Thanks to Márton Villányi, Andreas Ferus and Michael Uwe Möbius for their feedback to improve this article.

Hybrid and Bronze used in: Piwowar H, Priem J, Larivière V, Alperin JP, Matthias L, Norlander B, Farley A, West J, Haustein S. (2017). The State of OA: A large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ Preprints 5:e3119v1. and Bosman J, Kramer B. (2018). Open access levels: a quantitative exploration using Web of Science and oaDOI data. PeerJ Preprints 6:e3520v1.

Registry of Open Access Repositories:

Directory of Open Access Repositories:

The Open Definition:

DRIVER guidelines, version vocabulary:

GitHub, OpenAPC:

See also: Danowski P, Ferus A, Hikl A, Kaiser O, McNeill G, Reding S, Schautz M, Zarka T, Zojer M (2018). Report on "Open Access Monitoring – Approaches and Perspectives" (2-Day-Workshop, 09–10 April 2018, Vienna). Zenodo.



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