Open access glossary

Please find below a description of some of the commonly used terms when talking about open access publishing. 

Accepted manuscript/version

This is the manuscript version of a scholarly output accepted for publication following peer review and revision. An accepted manuscript or an accepted version can also be called a post-print.


Depositing a digital copy of a document in an institutional repository in order to provide open access and long-term digital preservation of scholarly output.

Article Process Charge (APC)

The fee paid to the publisher to make an article free at the point of access. While open access principles promote free availability of research and scholarly output, research papers are not free to produce. The cost of publication is moved from the reader (via subscriptions and pay-walls) to the author (via the APC). Not all open access publishers charge an APC.

Author addenda

Author addenda state the rights that the author will retain after passing an article to a publisher for publication. Addenda vary considerably, so care must be taken to choose an addendum that suits the author (or institution) in each particular case. SPARC (a US organisation) provides information on how to apply these.

Creative Commons

This is an internationally recognized licensing scheme which permits the sharing, reuse, repurpose, and remix of creative material while also ensuring that creators retain the right to attribution as a minimum.

Delayed open access

This is when a scholarly output is accessible on open access after an embargo period set by the publisher has elapsed. Embargos can vary from a few months to many years depending on the publisher and discipline.


Some publishers have a restriction on when an author version of an article is allowed to be deposited in a repository. This can vary from six months to two years after publication. Any embargo period is usually listed in the copyright agreement (or can be found on SHERPA-RoMEO). Sometimes the publisher's embargo conflicts with a funder's requirement, so check this before you publish.

Green open access publishing

This is where archiving of open access versions of a non-open access scholarly output is allowed (such as the pre-print or post-print) or the published version is made available after an embargo period set by the publisher.

Gold open access publishing

This is when the scholarly output is 'born OA' and available under open access from the moment of publication. This is usually in an open access journal where typically copyright remains with the author. Many release content under a Creative Commons or similar licence.

Hybrid open access

Some journals are purely open access, but others offer a 'hybrid' model where subscriptions are still required for access to content, but a fee can be paid to make individual articles available open access immediately on publication. Publishers do not generally reduce subscription fees despite the inclusion of paid open access content - this is described as journal publishers "double dipping".

Mandate/Open access policy

The requirement that a research publication be made open access either by publishing in an Open Access publication or by depositing the final, peer-reviewed draft in an open access institutional repository. Increasingly being applied by (but not limited to) funding bodies and educational institutions that support research with public funds.


Data that describe other data. For items in open access repositories, this usually consists of a full bibliographic reference, abstract, keywords, and similar information.


Open Archives Initiative - The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. OAI has its roots in the open access and institutional repository movements.


The standard protocol for harvesting metadata from OA repositories.

Open access (OA)

Free and unrestricted online access to the outputs of publicly funded research so that research literature can be used without licensing restrictions for research, teaching or other purposes.


The pre-print is the author’s manuscript version of the publication that has been submitted to a journal for consideration for publication. If published in a peer-reviewed publication, the pre-print does not reflect any revisions made during the peer-review process.


The post-print is the author’s final manuscript of the publication, which is submitted to the publisher for publication. If published in a peer-reviewed publication, the post-print contains all revisions made during the peer-review process. It does not, however, reflect any layout or copy editing done by the publisher in preparation for publication


This is the final version of a scholarly output. It is the version just before publication with the journal formatting applied. A proof is considered a publisher's (not an author's) version of the work.

Published version

The published version is the final version of the article produced by the publisher. When dealing with hard-copy publications, this is the printed version found in books, proceedings and journals. In the digital environment, the published version is usually a PDF available through the publisher’s Web site


This means papers or articles that satisfy external or peer-review requirements of the scholarly journal or conference proceedings prior to publication.


A website that aims to collect and preserve the intellectual output of a subject or organisation, making it available electronically without charge.


The act of an academic author depositing the metadata and electronic full text of their publication in an open access repository.


A database of research funders' policies on open access. This is a collaboratively maintained service and a good starting point, however you should always refer to the agreement for your research project.


A database of publisher policies on copyright and self-archiving. This is a collaboratively maintained service and a good starting point, however you should always refer to the publisher's agreement or website for current information.

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Last edited: 22 March 2016


Michaela Rossini

Library Manager


T +43(0) 2236 807 283


Luke Kirwan

Open Access Manager


T +43(0) 2236 807 278

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313