There are two primary vehicles for delivering OA: OA archives or repositories and OA journals.
OA archives or repositories per se do not perform peer review, but simply make their contents freely available to the world. They may contain unrefereed preprints, technical reports etc. and refereed postprints and, often a combinations of these. Archives may belong to institutions, such as universities and laboratories, or be based on subjects (examples: physics and economics and ???). Authors may archive their preprints without anyone else's permission. A majority of journals already permit authors to archive their final referred, corrected copy (postprints) (more on this later). See Institutional Repositories.
OA journals, on the other hand, do perform peer review and then make the approved contents freely available to the world. Sometimes OA journals have to charge an article processing fee (called APCs) on accepted articles, to be paid by the author or the author's sponsor (employer, funding agency).
Why publish in an OA journal?
Why not to publish in an OA journal?