Open Access (OA) is both a set of principles and practices for the publication of digital content freely available to all, without fee or access restrictions for the readers.
Open Access scholarly literature is online, free to read, open to all, and typically permits much greater range for reuse and sharing than other literature. It follows the same peer review and other publishing processes as other scholarly literature.
The UVM Libraries promote and advocate for “diamond” open access, a model that charges neither authors nor readers.
However, as most publishers currently do charge authors, UVM and UVM Libraries participate in a number of initiatives, agreements and partnerships that can offer you reduced or eliminated Author Processing Charges (APCs).
Open Access publishing transfers the costs for publication from the reader (as in traditional publishing) to other bodies. Typically, those bodies include the authors, academic societies, academic institutions, grant funders, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, or some combination of the same.
All reputable publishers will state this information publicly on the journal's publisher page.
A reputable open access publisher will never guarantee publication in return for an author payment. Any fee reduction or subsidy will take effect only after the work is accepted by the publisher through standard peer-review and acceptance processes.
Be careful of this and other red flags when selecting a publisher.