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Open Access

This page contains a list of defined open access terms.

Glossary of Open Access Terms

Common Open Access Terms

Article processing charge (APC) - An article processing charge is a fee that publishers charge in order to publish an open access article. This fee is sometimes called an Author Processing Charge or an Article Processing Fee.

Author accepted manuscript (AAM) - The final version of a scholarly work that has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by a journal.

Bronze open access - A scholarly work is freely available to read on a publisher's website, but access is usually temporary and could close at any time.

Closed access - Also known as non-open access, a scholarly work would only be accessible to people at institutions that have a license for the specific journal the work is in, or an individual paid an fee to view the material. 

Creative Commons (CC) - Licenses that allow creators to share their copyrighted work so that it can be copied, edited, and built on, under copyright law while still allowing them to keep the copyright of the original work. There are six different license types that allow people different use of the original work. See here for more information about CC licenses. 

Date of acceptance - The date a scholarly work is formally deemed by a publisher to be ready to be processed for publication, meaning no substantial changes are needed. 

Deposit - The act of putting a scholarly work into a repository. 

Diamond/Platinum open access - A scholarly work is freely available because the journal has external sponsorship, making it so neither authors or users have to pay for access.

Digital library - Also known as an online library, a digital collection of digital objects like electronic books, electronic articles, digital documents, multimedia, and materials in other digital formats.

Discoverable - The ability to be found. Usually meaning that something is easily findable and accessible. 

Embargo - A period of time after a scholarly work has been published when access to the work is restricted to users that have have paid for access or to users who have access through institutions that have paid for access. 

Fee waiver - A discount or relinquishment of the cost to make a work open access which reduces or eliminates an article publishing charge.

Gold open access - A scholarly work is freely available through a publisher's journal immediately upon publication, usually because an author or funder paid an APC. 

Gratis open access - Information that is freely available with no monetary cost, but that might still have copyright and licensing restrictions.

Green open access - A scholarly work available through a publisher's journal with pay-to-access, but that allows the author of the work to make the material freely available on the author's website or author-affiliated open access repository, usually after an embargo period. 

Hybrid open access -  When a journal publishes some scholarly works open access after a fee is paid, while other works in the journal will have a paywall. 

Institutional repository (IR) - A collection for organizing, storing, and disseminating digital copies of research created by a society, university, or other organization.

Libre open access - Information that is freely available with no monetary cost and does not have most copyright and licensing restrictions.

Metadata - Data that describes other data by providing information and attributions of the content being described. For example, a scholarly work in a repository is data, and if the repository describes the scholarly work's date of publication, author, file type, etc., that is metadata because is data (information about the scholarly work) describing other data (the scholarly work itself). 

Open access (OA) - When information is freely available for all people to read, use, copy, and distribute with limited copyright and licensing restrictions. Traditionally, open access refers to publications that are available online without a cost and with limited copyright and licensing restrictions pertaining to reuse, but open access can pertain to the free exchange of any knowledge or resource.

Open access license - A permit from a publisher or other authority that allows a scholarly work to be made freely available online after being published. 

Open access mandate - A binding or non-binding policy adopted at an institution, government agency, or company, that requires or suggests that affiliated members of the organization publish their scholarly works open access through various means such as self-archiving or publishing in green or gold open access journals. 

Paywall - A virtual "wall" that blocks a users ability to access material. In order to open the virtual "door" and pass through the virtual "wall" a fee must be paid. Libraries and academic or research institutions typically pay this fee through a subscription-based model so that their users will have access to materials behind paywalls. Any individual can also pay to access specific content on their own, regardless of their affiliation or without using a library. This is called pay-per-use.

Pre-prints - This is a draft of a scholarly work that has not went through the peer-review process, but might have been submitted to a journal. If the work has been submitted to a journal it is also referred to as the submitted version or submitted copy.

Post-prints - This is the final draft of a scholarly work after it has been peer-reviewed but before it has went through copy-editing. This version of a work does not contain the publisher’s typesetting, branding or other enhancements. It is also referred to as the final accepted manuscript or personal copy.

Publisher's version - This is the version of a scholarly work that has been went through peer-review and copy-editing and is now formatted to be published in a print or online journal.

Scholarly work - Materials that are created through formal research by an authority on a subject. This can refer to digital or electronic papers, articles, books, data, and other materials that are the result of academic scholarship. 

Self-archiving - When an author deposits a free copy of their scholarly work online, typically on a personal homepage or institutional repository.

Subject repository - An archive that collects and stores scholarly research on a particular topic. The repository might be managed by an institution, government agency, or other organization, company, or individual.

Version of record - A scholarly work in its final published version that is copy edited and formatted and is published in a print or electronic journal. This version of a work contains the publisher’s typesetting, branding and/or other enhancements.