Open Access Glossary

The open access (OA) movement is part of the broader "open knowledge" or "open content" movement that covers open-source software, open data from government or researchers, and open-access scholarship. Below are some terms that relate to open access scholarship in particular.

Open Access (OA)
Describes works of scholarship that, while peer-reviewed like other works of scholarship, are free to read online and, according to many definitions of open access, also allow readers to redistribute the work freely as long as the author is attributed. Open access works may be available elsewhere in a form that requires purchase or subscription, such as a print edition or an online journal. Open access publications are sometimes but not always made possible by charging the author to publish, such as with an article processing charge.
Green OA
A version of a journal article or other work of scholarship which is made available through open access in a location other than the official publication of record, such as an institutional repository, a subject or disciplinary repository, or the author's personal website. Many publishers' author contracts give the author the right to post a preprint, post-print, or the final version in such a fashion; other author contracts can be amended to allow for this right by special arrangement or by using a standard author addendum.
Gold OA
A publishing model in which the official publication of record (usually a journal) is freely available for all to read. The gold open access model can take the form of an entirely open access journal (i.e., all articles are made freely available to read on the publisher website) or a hybrid journal (i.e., a subscription-based journal in which certain articles are made freely available to read on the publisher website). Typically, gold open access publishing models require an article processing charge (APC) paid to the publisher to make the item freely available to read through the publisher website. Those that do not charge APCs are sometimes called platinum OA or diamond OA.
Article Processing Charge (APC)
A fee paid by an author (or their lab or grant) that is used to support the process of publishing a journal article. While the practice of "page charges" originated in non-OA journals in certain fields, they are more commonly associated with OA in one of two ways:
  1. An OA journal charges authors APCs in order to cover costs that would otherwise be met by subscription revenue.
  2. A non-OA journal (e.g., a hybrid journal) allows authors to pay a fee in order to make the final, published version of the article available on the publisher website; however authors and users are not permitted to reuse, distribute, or post a copy of their article in a repository or on their personal website.
Institutional Repository
A digital collection hosted by a university or other institution that provides a place to archive and provide access to the scholarly work created at the institution. Most allow members of the institution's community to submit preprints, post-prints, or final versions of published work and often include other forms of scholarship, such as presentations, working papers, reports, etc.
Subject Repository or Discipline Repository
A digital collection that archives and makes available works of scholarship in one or more disciplines regardless of the affiliation of the scholar. Participation may be open only by invitation or recommendation. Users archive their own work.
Versions of Works
Preprint
The version of the manuscript submitted for publication (before peer-review and before being accepted for publication). Some also use this term for the final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication. In either case, this is usually a document in a format like Microsoft Word or LaTeX.
Post-print
Usage varies—can be either the final peer-reviewed version of the manuscript accepted for publication or the final, published version, often with the publisher's design and page numbers.
Creative Commons (CC)
A nonprofit organization that offers freely available copyright licenses that provide a standard way to give the public permission to share and use your work, under conditions of your choice. Creative commons (CC) licenses are not an alternative to copyright and work alongside copyright to reserve certain rights for themselves and those to whom they grant permission.
Author Addendum
A supplemental contract between an author and a publisher that amends the publisher's standard author agreement in order to allow the author to retain certain rights to the work not allowed under the publisher's standard agreement. Author rights that are frequently included in the author addendum include:

Among others, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) offers an author addendum that can be modified and included with the standard publishing agreement in order for authors to negotiate and retain certain rights to their work. For more information, see Creative Commons Licensing.