From Springer.com "What is Open Access?":
"At it’s most fundamental Open Access is when publications are freely available online to all at no cost and with limited restrictions with regards reuse. The unrestricted distribution of research is especially important for authors (as their work gets seen by more people), readers (as they can access and build on the most recent work in the field) and funders (as the work they fund has broader impact by being able to reach a wider audience).
There are two routes to open access:
TIP: just because a journal offers free access to content this does not mean is it Open Access. As described above Gold OA also allows the re-use of the work as long as the authors are acknowledged and cited as they retain the copyright. Simply allowing everyone with an internet connection to read the content does not constitute gold OA.
As always, please use good judgment when searching for articles! The journals posted below have all been "vetted" as high-quality, peer-reviewed resources, but there are many open access journals which are considered predatory or questionable. For an updated list of these publications, check out Beall's List of Potential Predatory Journals and Standalone Journals.
*Article Processing Charge is the review fee charged by some publications prior to submission. There are no fees to access the journals' content, however!
Some major publishers, like Elsevier, Lippincott, and Taylor and Francis, offer their authors the option to publish articles as open access rather than abiding to the standards of the subscription model. By choosing to publish their articles open access, authors might need to pay a publishing fee beforehand. Here are various journal publishers' open access policies and participating full or hybird open access journals:
From a Green Open Access Publishers database through Sherpa, refined by journals based in the United States:
Go here for a full list of Elsevier's Open Access Archives for many of their journals!