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Below is a glossary of commonly used open access terms and their meanings.

Accepted author manuscript (AAM) - The version of a manuscript that has been accepted by a publisher for publication.

Altmetrics - Altmetrics are alternative ways of recording and measuring the use and impact of scholarship. Rather than solely counting the number of times a work is cited in scholarly literature, alternative metrics also measure and analyze social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, etc.), document downloads, links to publishing and unpublished research, and other uses of research literature, in order to provide a more comprehensive measurement of scholarships reach and impact.

Article-level metrics - All types of article-level metrics including download and usage statistics, citations, and article-level altmetrics.

Article Processing Charge (APC) - fee charged to the author, creator, or institution to cover the cost of an article, rather than charging the potential reader of the article. APCs may apply to both commercial and Open Access publications. APCs are sometimes charged to authors in order to cover the cost of publishing and disseminating an article in an Open Access scholarly journal.

Book Processing Charge (BPC) - An ‘article processing charge’ for a book.

CLOCKSS - A digital preservation initiative. Acronym for Controlled Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe.

Creative Commons - A suite of licences that set out the rights of authors and users, providing alternatives to the standard copyright. CC licences are widely used, simple to state, machine readable and have been created by legal experts. There are a variety of CC licences, each of which use one or more clauses, examples of which are given below. Some licences are compatible with Open Access in the Budapest sense, and some are not.

CC Attribution (BY) - A licence clause that allows the reuse, sharing, and remixing of materials providing the original author is appropriately attributed. Aside from attribution the CC-BY licence has no other restrictions on copying. Compatible with free cultural works.

CC NonCommercial (NC) - A licence clause allowing the reuse, sharing, and remixing of materials providing that it is for non-commercial purposes. Not compatible with free cultural works.

CC NoDerivatives (ND) - A licence clause requiring that derivatives are not made of the original works. Not compatible with free cultural works.

CC ShareAlike (SA) - A licence clause requiring that derivative works have the same licence as the original. Compatible with free cultural works.

CC 0 - Waiver of copyright; no rights reserved. Places content as openly as possible in the public domain.

Citation - reference to a published or unpublished source embedded in content, for the purposes of acknowledging the work and relevance of others to the topic of discussion where the citation appears.

Copy editing - A type of editing designed to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of text. It usually does not involve changing the content of the original text.

Curation - The selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of [digital] assets. Curation establishes, maintains, and adds value to repositories of digital data for present and future use.

Data mining - An analytic process designed to explore data in search of consistent patterns and/or systematic relationships between variables, and then to transform this information into content for future use.

Derivative work - A work based upon one or more pre-existing works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted.

Digital preservation - The practice of ensuring the continued existence and accessibility of digital material. This often takes the form of decentralised, highly distributed and redundant dark-archive systems, such as CLOCKSS and LOCKSS.

Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) - directory of academic open access repositories. Also has a search function for repositories and repository contents.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - A directory indexing open access peer-reviewed journals.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) - An identifier in the form 10.7766/orbit.v2.1.50 or that uniquely addresses a scholarly resource. The DOI system is part of the digital preservation infrastructure as, in the event that a journal goes offline or the publisher folds, the DOI is updated to point to the preserved version, ensuring continued access. A DOI is supposed to be an identifier that will always return the resource and it comes with substantial social structures (such as financial penalties if metadata are not kept up-to-date) to ensure this.

Double-dipping - In the context of Open Access, double-dipping occurs when a journal has an article processing charge (APC) for publishing an author’s work, as well as requiring payment (usually through a subscription fee) by the potential user of the work. This model makes the institution or author pay twice to access the work.

DSpace - A software for digital open repositories launched by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2002.

E-print - digital version of a research document available online for a repository.

Embargo - delay period required by some publishers before they will allow open access (green or gold) on a piece of work. The embargo period for journals that allow green OA can be found on the publisher’s website or by using the SHERPA/RoMEO tool. 

figshare - A repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable, and discoverable manner.

Gold open access - Scholarly material made open access directly on the publisher’s website. NB gold open access does not refer to any specific business model.

Green open access - Scholarly material made open access by deposit in a repository. NB green open access does not refer to any specific business model.

H-index - A personal metric that relates the number of citations to the number of published papers for an academic.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) - funding body for higher education, universities and colleges in England.

Hybrid journal - A type of journal in which certain articles are made open access, while others remain toll access.

Impact factor - A numerical measure that indicates the average number of citations to articles published over the previous two years in a journal, and frequently used as a proxy for a journal's relative importance.

Institutional Repository - An online database designed to collect the intellectual output of a particular institution or university, including digital collections such as electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), pre-prints, or faculty scholarship, and presents associated metadata regarding the these items. (Source)

Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) - A UK educational charity, formerly part of HEFCE but now independent. Provides expertise to universities, colleges and cultural institutions on the use of technology to support research, including publication models, repositories, licensing, and infrastructure.

Journal level metrics - Metrics that apply to all papers published within a journal. A common example is Thomson Reuters’ journal impact factor.

LOCKSS - A digital preservation initiative, acronym for Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe.

Mandate - A requirement that work be made open access, usually requested and enforced by a government, funding body or institution.

Metadata - Peripheral information about an object, in this case a scholarly resource. For instance, author, affiliation, title, date published, journal name, issue, volume etc. are all pieces of metadata pertaining to a journal article.

Open Access (OA) - Making peer reviewed scholarly manuscripts freely available via the Internet, permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any lawful purpose, without financial, legal or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. May also refer to theses, books, book chapters, monographs and other content.

Open access journal - A journal that exclusively comprises open access articles.

Open Access Week - A global event promoting open access as a new norm in scholarship and research.

Open data - Making data freely available on the public internet permitting any user to download, copy, analyse, re-process, pass them to software or use them for any other purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.

ORCID - A persistent digital identifier that distinguishes individual researchers. Also supports integration in research workflows.

Peer review - A process by which a research article is vetted by experts in community before publication.

Portico - A digital preservation initiative

Post-print - A manuscript that has passed peer review.

Pre-print - A manuscript that has not yet been peer-reviewed.

PubMed - A repository comprising more than 24 million citations for the biomedical literature.

PubMed Central (PMC) - A free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the US National Institutes of Health’s Library of Medicine.

Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) - A registry for open access repositories, hosted by the University of Southampton, UK.

Repository - An archival space to facilitate green open access. See also ‘institutional repository’ and ‘subject repository’. (Eve)

Research Councils UK (RCUK) - The primary government research funding body in the UK.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) - An initiative to assess researchers in the UK. Coordinated by HEFCE.

Researcher ID - Assigns a unique identifier for researchers to manage publication lists, track citations, and avoid author misidentification.

Self-archiving - The process of an author making his or her work green open access by depositing the work in a repository.

SHERPA-RoMEO (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access - Rights of Metadata for Open archiving) - A tool to check what the self-archiving policies for individual journals are.

Subject repository -  An archival space hosted by a subject group or learned society to facilitate green open access. 

Symplectic - A world-leading products and services company specialised in research information management. Their flagship system Elements, is used by a number of the world’s research institutions.

Version of Record (VOR) - The final version of a manuscript, after peer review and processing by a publishers. (Source)

Wellcome Trust - A life sciences funding body in the UK. 


Sections of this glossary were extracted from “Eve, Martin Paul. Open access and the humanities. Cambridge University Press, 2014”, and Jon Tennant and Ross Mounce’s Open Glossary.

They are published under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike and Creative Commons licence respectively, which permits re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is included and the original work is properly cited.