In Elsevier ScienceDirect search, there are two types of access type filters; Open Access articles and Open Archive articles. What is the difference between these two? Is there a notable difference between the terms themselves?

1 Answer 1


As Elsevier uses these terms, "open access" means an article is free to access as soon as it is published. "Open archive" means an article is published in a journal that makes articles available for free after some embargo period (not immediately when it is published).

More on Open Archive:

Elsevier enables subscribers and the general public to have free access to archived material in 98 Elsevier journals... Articles featured in the archives are free for everyone to read and download and are made available after an embargo period.

  • What's with the embargo period for open archive? Why the delay? How are those articles different from open access articles by nature?
    – Ébe Isaac
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 7:23
  • @ÉbeIsaac The difference is that the authors of those articles did not choose to publish them in an open access journal, or as open access articles in a hybrid OA journal. That's all.
    – ff524
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 7:26
  • Does this mean open archive facility is an added advantage to general authors who didn't pay for the open access in Elsevier? If that is so, what should an author satisfy to attain this added privilege?
    – Ébe Isaac
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 7:36
  • 1
    @ÉbeIsaac: as far as I know, the open archive was installed by Elsevier in response to the "Cost of knowledge" pledge of about 15k scientists not to get involved with Elsevier anymore. Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 14:02
  • 1
    That's amazing, why hasn't anyone done the same for IEEE?
    – Ébe Isaac
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 15:32

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