APC – article processing charge (or article publishing charge)

This is a fee charged by some journals to cover the costs associated with making an article in the journal open access.  APCs may be charged by hybrid and open access journals.  Often they are paid by funders or institutions rather than directly by authors.  APCs vary considerably between journals and publishers, from less than £100 to over £2000.

Author accepted manuscript

The version of the output which has been accepted for publication by the publisher.  If the article has been through a peer-review process, this version will incorporate the changes resulting from peer-review, but will not include the publisher’s formatting, copy-editing etc. See also the NISO definition Accepted Manuscript: p2


The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) is a partnership between Arthritis Research UK, Breast Cancer Campaign, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and the Wellcome Trust to enable free and unrestricted access to the published outputs of the research we support.

Creative Commons

A method of retaining copyright but allowing others to use the material with attribution

CRIS – Current Research Information System

A (usually commercial) software product that collects research management information such as grant applications, student supervision, research outputs


Add the full text of an output to a repository.

DOI - Digital Object Identifier

A unique character string (letters and numbers) that provides a persistent link to a digital item on the internet.


Traditional publishers may set an embargo period for articles after publication before they can be made open for access by all.


Open source software that provides a repository for online items.  Originally developed by University of Southampton, now in use mainly across UK, including UEA at present.

Gold open access

Free access for anyone with internet access to an online version of the output on the publisher’s website. This may involve payment of an APC.

Green open access

Free access for anyone with internet access to a full-text version of the output through a repository (AKA self-archiving).  The process is free to authors but may involve an embargo period imposed by the publisher from the time of publication of the article before open access to the article is permitted.


Open access material that is free to read.

Hybrid journal

All the articles in a traditional academic journal are behind a paywall.  Some publishers have introduced the option of the author paying an Article Processing Charge to make an article visible to all (open access).  A journal that has a mixture of open and closed access papers is known as a hybrid.


Open access material that is free to read and also does not restrict re-use.


Data that describe other data to aid retrieval and identification of items.  An online journal article may include author name, year of publication, file type as metadata items

Open Access journal

A Journal where all the content is open access. 


Online access is limited to subscribers (or members of subscribing institution).


In the context of open access, a postprint generally refers to the version of an article that is submitted to a journal and has incorporated any changes from resulting from peer-review, but does not have the journals’ final copy-editing, formatting, etc.  The term ‘author accepted manuscript’ is now preferred.


In the context of open access, a pre-print generally refers to the version of an article that is submitted to a journal but has not yet been through the peer-reviewed process.  However, because there is some ambiguity in the meaning (it may, depending on context, also refer to a version of the article that has not been published) its use is now becoming rarer and the term ‘submitted manuscript’ is preferred.


PURE is UEA’s CRIS – a software product that collects research management information such as grant applications, student supervision, research outputs


Research Excellence Framework set up by Research England (and funding councils in Scotland and Wales) to identify quality research in UK higher education and allocate grant funding according to the findings of this.

Repository (institutional; subject)

A central online location where data (articles, images, video etc.) are stored.  Metadata describes the items to make it easier to retrieve contents via online search.  UEA has an institutional repository – this holds research publications and doctoral theses from UEA staff and students. 

A subject repository collects material within a defined subject area.  These are often set up by volunteers, and may not have investment to develop or expand the project. & ResearchGate are not examples of subject repositories, but commercial social network sites that encourage members to share papers in activity that may breach copyright agreements.

Research England

Provides annual research funding to English universities based on quality assessment via REF for example.

Romeo colour

A colour scheme to categorise the approach of publishers to open access publication of material.

Self-archiving – see ‘Green open access’


Originally a project to develop open access repositories, Sherpa is a set of services provided by University of Nottingham to support open access.

Toll-access journal

Also known as a traditional subscription journal.  Access to the journal’s contents is limited to those that subscribe to receive the journal, either as individuals or through their institution (often paid through library or departmental budgets).

Version of record

Also known as the published version or the publisher’s PDF, this is the version of the article as it appears in the final published form in the journal, including any page numbering, type-setting, formatting etc applied by the publisher.  See also the NISO definition of this term: p3


Some journals and publishers which charge for making content open access will sometimes offer a full or partial waiver of the fees for researchers not able to meet the costs.  The criteria used may vary, but are often related to where in the world an author is based or career stage. 

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