There are two routes to OA publication:
Gold OA means that the final version of an article is published free-of-charge for readers. However, the publisher does charge the author (or another entity) once the article has been accepted to the journal. Charges range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand depending on the type and reach of the journal. The author generally retains broad reuse rights under Gold OA
Find Gold OA Journals in the DOAJ
Green OA (or self-archiving) allows an author or institution to make certain versions of an work freely available in an institutional repository regardless of the publisher's OA practices. The publisher generally controls reuse rights, but many authors negotiate for additional rights that include the right to self-archive.
Find out publisher's default archiving rights on SHERPA/RoMEO
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) defines open access as “the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.”
Open access is sometimes regarded as low-quality or the outcome of self- or vanity-publishing. Though some journals engage in "predatory" practices including exorbitant submission fees and inadequate review standards, the open access movement is much larger than these predatory journals and many OA journals have rigorous standards and high impact factors.
Some articles on Google Scholar may be freely available either from the publisher or through a repository. You can also connect Google Scholar to the UCA Library databases. Learn more about using Google Scholar from the Library blog posts below: