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Understanding Open Access

OA Jargon Buster

Article Processing Charges (APCs)
A fee paid to a publisher for gold access. This charge can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds and will vary even across journals from the same publisher.
Author accepted manuscript
The version of the output that has gone through peer review but has not been copy edited or typeset.
Creative Commons
The most commonly applied licences to open access outputs. They come with different levels of restrictiveness and many funders now require the most permissive of these (CC-BY) to be used. The Creative Commons website has more information.
Diamond
A form of open access publishing where neither the author nor the reader pays a fee.
Double dipping
This refers to the institution paying for a subscription and then paying a second fee for their author to publish in the same journal.
Gold
Immediate open access following payment of an APC.
Green
Often known as self-archiving. This means depositing the output in an institutional (CRO) or subject repository. The final publisher’s PDF version is not permitted but the author’s accepted manuscript minus typesetting usually is. An embargo (often 12 to 24 months) may be stipulated by the publisher.
Hybrid
These are subscription journals where some of the articles are available as open access.
Plan S
A set of principles to foster a more equitable open access publishing environment.
Read and publish agreements
(See Transformative agreements).
Rights retention
The idea of the author retaining the rights to their own outputs in future instead of the rights being signed over to publishers at the outset.
Transformative agreements
A deal giving access to published content and allowing the institution an element of open access publishing for the fee paid.
Version of record
This is the fully edited and typeset publisher version of an output.