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Open Access: Glossary

Article (or Book) Processing Charge (APC / BPC)

An Article Processing Charge (APC) is a fee paid to publishers to publish an article or conference paper immediately open access. an equivalent charge for books is known as a Book Processing Charge (BPC).

Author Accepted Manuscript

The Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is the author’s version of a paper that has been peer-reviewed and is accepted for publication, prior to copy-editing and typesetting by the publisher..



Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables legal sharing and use of creativity and knowledge by providing a simple, standardised way of granting copyright permissions/licences to a piece of work. 

The key Creative Commons licences are detailed below:

About Creative Commons Licences

Data Access (or Availability) Statement

A Data Access Statement (sometimes known as a Data Availability Statement) is a statement in the paper itself, or in the metadata about the paper.  It informs readers whether and where the underlying research materials (e.g. data, software, images, manuscripts...) associated with a paper are available, and how they can be accessed. The statement can include links to the dataset, where applicable and appropriate.


An embargo period is a period during which a paper cannot be made Open Access.  It does not usually stop you from depositing the paper to a repository and adding metadata, but the paper itself must remain closed access during the embargo period.  Embargoes are often used by publishers to prevent an Author Accepted Manuscript from being made Open Access by self-archiving until a given period has elapsed.  Increasingly, funders are refusing to accept as Open Access-compliant, papers that are embargoed beyond the publication date.

Final published version

The Final Published Version (also known as the Version of Record) is the version of a paper that is published, following review, typesetting and editing. 

Gold Open Access

Green Open Access


Summarises basic information about the paper, e.g. author, date created, date modified, file size etc.

Open Access Publishing (Gold OA)

Open Access publishing is also known as Gold Open Access.  Here, the final published version of the paper is made Open Access on the publisher's website, or on a dedicated publishing platform.  It is Open Access immediately on first publication, and copyright remains with the author(s). 

Advantages and disadvantages of Open Access publishing

  • The main advantage of Open Access publishing is that the final published version is made Open Access, and is more easily discoverable, being on the publisher's website or platform.
  • Additionally, it is often easier to meet funder requirements through this route, as publishers may create barriers to funder-compliant self-archiving
  • The main disadvantage is that there is often a cost to publish Open Access, known as an Article (or Book) Processing Charge (APC / BPC).  For an article, this can be as little as £300 or as much as £9,000.  For a book, it is often around £10,000.

Predatory Journals / Publishers

There is no one standard definition of what constitutes a predatory publisher but generally they are those publishers who charge a fee for the publication of material without providing the publication services an author would expect such as peer review and editing.  Publishing with a predatory publisher can damage an author's reputation and contribute to the perpetuation of bad research.

Always check that the publisher/journal you want to publish with is legitimate.  The website ThinkCheckSubmit outlines a set of helpful steps to do so.

Most legitimate Open Access journals are registered with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

Rights Retention Statement

A Rights Retention Statement (RRS) is a statement included in the acknowledgement section of a paper, and in the covering note to the publisher.  It asserts the author's rights to the Author Accepted Manuscript of the paper.  The exact wording required differs slightly between funders, but an example would be:

"This work was funded by [funder name] [grant number] For the purpose of Open Access the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission"

REF (Research Excellence Framework)

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK's national programme for assessing institutions on their research quality.  It took place in 2014 and 2021.  The UK Government is currently reviewing its purpose and operation, and it is expected to be superseded by a new national research assessment programme to be announced in 2023.

Self-archiving (Green OA)

Self-archiving is also known as Green Open Access. Instead of (or sometimes as well as) the final published version being Open Access on the publisher's website, the author deposits the Author Accepted Manuscript in a repository (such as DORA) where it is made Open Access. 

Advantages and disadvantages of self-archiving

  • The primary advantage of self-archiving is that there is no cost to the author.
  • Problems can arise if the publisher insists on claiming copyright to the Author Accepted Manuscript and imposes conditions that conflict with funder or REF requirements, such as an embargo period or a licence that is unacceptable to the funder/REF.