Open Access Glossary

Article processing charge (APC)

A publisher’s fee to cover editorial, peer review, marketing and distribution costs of publishing a Gold Open Access article.

Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM)

The author’s final manuscript as uploaded into the publisher’s formatted page. The AAM is distinguishable from the final published version by the lack of page, volume and issue numbers.


Aberystwyth University’s institutional repository –, shortly to be replaced by the PURE portal for external open access to AU papers


The exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the creator of an original work to print, publish, perform or record academic, literary, artistic or musical materials.

Creative Commons Licenses

A form of licence outlining what a person may do with an open access work where the copyright is held by a third party. Details of these licenses can be found on the Creative Commons (CC) website where the 4 basic elements of the licenses are described: the attribution-only license (CC-BY), the no-derivatives license (CC-BY-ND), the no commercial reuse license (CC-BY-NC), and the ‘share-alike’ principle license (CC-BY-SA) and their various combinations.


Adding a research output such as an article to a repository – accompanied by standard metadata.

E-Journal Aggregators

Companies which bring together the e-journal output from multiple publishers on a single web platform through license arrangements with the primary publishers.


A period during which access to scholarly work is restricted to those who have paid for access. Once the embargo period ends, the full-text of an article in either preprint, postprint or final published version can be deposited in a repository as permitted by the publisher of copyright holder.

Full-Text Version

The complete content of an article, which can include the background research data files associated with the output.

Gold Open Access

A system by which articles which are ‘born open access’ at the time of publication. Fully open access journals mostly charge a fee for such publication.

Green Open Access

Making a version of work (usually a postprint or author-accepted manuscript) available in an open access repository. These can be institutional such as CADAIR or subject based, such as arXivPubMed Central or RePec. Placing work in ResearchGate or other social media collections is not considered to be Green open access.

HEFCE Open Access Rules

The open access availability rules which the HEFCE’s apply for UK higher education authored papers to be eligible for the next Research Excellence Framework exercise, as variously amended at:

Institutional Repository

An online archive of an institution’s scholarly outputs which can include publications in peer-reviewed journals, books and book-sections, technical reports, working papers, monographs, conference presentations, audio/visual materials, mathematical models or any other research content that has scholarly value.


Data that describes the format and content of material in a repository or database. For items in open access repositories, this usually consists of a minimum of full bibliographic reference, abstract, keywords, any embargo details and web address.

Open Access

The process by which research results can be made freely available to anyone with an internet connection rather than keeping those results hidden behind a subscription paywall.


The author’s peer reviewed and corrected manuscript, usually created in Word or LaTeX. When publishers require authors to upload their final postprint version of an article into a formatted page, this document is considered to be the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM)


Any one of the preliminary drafts of an article before it has been peer-reviewed and possibly even before any submission to a publisher.


The Current Research Information System (CRIS) used by Aberystwyth University to manage research metadata and to deposit related publications.

RCUK Open Access Rules

The open access availability rules which RCUK applies for papers to be eligible for assessment in the award of future RCUK grants – as variously amended at:


The Research Excellence Framework devised by the UK Higher Education Funding Councils for assessing the quality of research in UK universities and HE colleges.


An online database of Open Access works. Repositories do not undertake peer review but do hold material that has been peer reviewed elsewhere. In addition repositories can hold ‘grey literature’ such as Theses, Discussion Papers, Datasets and other material.

Scholarly Communication / Output 

A piece of research content, including articles, books, chapters, technical reports, working papers, monographs, conference presentations, audio/visual materials, research datasets, mathematical models and sequence data amongst others.

Sherpa Databases

A set of databases detailing the Open Access requirements of journals, publishers and research funders and allowing the matching of Open Access requirements between these sub-sets (e.g. for HEFCE REF eligibility requirements)

Subject Repository 

An online archive of open access literature in particular fields e.g. PubMed Central and arXiv. Can include preprints, postprints or final versions of articles as determined by the repositories’ own rules or publishers’ conditions