Glossary of open access terms
Accepted author manuscript (AAM) – also known as a post-print. The peer-reviewed, final version of an article prior to publication. This is not the same as the publisher’s PDF.
Article processing charge (APC) – a publisher’s fee for covering publishing costs such as those associated with editorial and peer-review processes. A consequence of payment of an APC is gold (immediate) open access to the research paper.
Date of acceptance – the date an article is accepted, after peer review, for publication by a journal. HEFCE require that an article must be deposited in an institutional or subject repository within 3 months of this date.
Deposit – adding research output, such as an article, to a repository.
Discoverable – the article can be found by readers and search engines, usually facilitated through a bibliographic or metadata record associated with the full text.
Embargo – a period during which access to scholarly work is restricted to those who have paid for access. Once the embargo period ends, an article can be deposited in a repository (if permitted by the publisher).
Gold open access – publishers make research articles immediately and freely available from the point of publication, and usually apply an article processing charge.
Green open access – the author makes a version of a research output freely available via an institutional or subject repository. Publishers stipulate the version of manuscript that can be self-archived and the length of embargo period following publication before the paper is made open access.
Hybrid journal – A hybrid journal is a subscription journal that provides an author with the option to publish their article immediately open access (OA) via payment of an article processing charge (APC), which ensures the Version of Record (VOR) is published as OA on the journal website.
Institutional repository – an online archive of an institution’s scholarly outputs. The collection can include publications in peer-reviewed journals, books and book-sections, technical reports, working papers, monographs, conference presentations, audio and visual materials or any other research content that has some scholarly value. Imperial's institutional repository is Spiral.
Metadata – data that describes other data. For items in open access repositories, this usually consists of a full bibliographic reference, abstract, keywords and similar information.
Mirror journals - open access versions of subscription journals with similar aims, scope, peer review processes, and policies. They may be listed in DOAJ and have their own ISSN. Mirror journals often have titles with an X in the suffix (refer to the 2022 Jülich list for specific titles). They are considered 'hybrid' for open access funding purposes.
Open access – the online availability of scholarly work via the internet, free of charge to individuals who wish to access and read it.
Open access journal or fully open access journal - A journal who’s content is freely available online and where user rights and the terms of copyright are defined. True open-access journals can be split into two categories: 1. diamond or platinum open-access journals, which charge no additional publication, open access or article processing fees and 2. gold open-access journals, which charge publication fees (also called article processing charges, APCs).
Open access licence – the licence outlines what a person may do with a third party copyright work. An example of an open licence is a Creative Commons (CC) licence, which combines 4 basic elements: the attribution, the derivatives, the commercial use, and the ‘share-alike’ principle.
Output – a piece of research content, including articles, books, chapters, technical reports, working papers, monographs, conference presentations, or audio and visual materials. It can also include research datasets.
Plan S – initiative for open access publishing.
Pre-print – the first draft of an article, before peer-review, possibly even before any contact with a publisher.
Publisher’s PDF – the final published version of an article, including the publisher’s copy-editing, proof corrections, layout, and typesetting.
Self-archiving – the process of depositing your research output to a repository along with bibliographic metadata. At Imperial you can do this via Symplectic. This process involves granting an open licence regarding access and reuse of your work.
Spiral – Imperial’s institutional repository.
Subject repository – an online archive of open access literature in particular fields e.g. PubMed Central and arXiv.
Symplectic – the Current Research Information System (CRIS) used by Imperial to manage research metadata and deposit related publications to Spiral.
Transformative agreement – Transformative agreements (TAs), sometimes called transitional or “read and publish” agreements are contracts negotiated between institutions and publishers that transform the business model underlying scholarly publishing towards a fully open access model. There are various different models and requirements for transformative agreements and Jisc have provided a guide to them on their Publisher information page. The Library has arranged several Transformative Agreements with publishers.
Transformative Journal – Transformative journals are subscription/hybrid journals that commit to transitioning to a fully open access journal. The requirements for TJs have been set by UK higher education (HE) and research institutions and endorsed by the UUK Jisc content negotiation strategy group. Coalition-S require that a Transformative Journal must gradually increase the share of Open Access content; and offset subscription income from payments for publishing services (to avoid double payments). cOAlition S have provided some FAQs on TJs which may be of use.