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Glossary: of Open Access terminology

Article processing charge (APC)

A fee paid by the author to the publisher to make an article free at the point of access.

Author's final peer-reviewed manuscript

The final version of the article as accepted for publication but without any publisher formatting or typesetting. This is also known as the 'post-print'.


A Creative Commons attribution (copyright) licence, which allows others to share and adapt the work as long as it is correctly attributed to the original author.

Date of acceptance

The date of acceptance is the point at which the author is notified that:

  • their output has been reviewed by the journal or conference (normally via peer review)
  • all academically necessary changes have been made in response to that review
  • the article is ready to be taken through the final steps toward publication (normally copy-editing and typesetting).

By this point, the paper should have been updated to include all changes resulting from peer review as well as any changes of an academic nature requested by the journal editor or conference organiser. At this stage, the journal editor or conference organiser normally notifies the author that their paper has been ‘firmly’ accepted (as opposed to any earlier point of ‘provisional’ acceptance e.g. conditional on major or minor revisions being made) and the paper is ready for copy-editing or typesetting; it is the date of this notification that should be taken to mean the date of acceptance.

Embargo periods

Some publishers only permit green open access after an embargo period. Research funder policies usually state maximum embargo periods for STEM subjects and for SSH subjects (social sciences and humanities).

Green open access

Authors deposit their final peer-reviewed manuscript ('post-print') in an institutional repository or subject repository, in parallel with conventional publication. There may be an embargo period before the full text of the repository version is made publically available. Another route to green open access is to publish in a peer-reviewed open access journal that is free to view.

Gold open access

Authors pay to publish in a journal that provides immediate open access on the publisher's website.

Hybrid journals

Some of the articles are open access. Usually, authors pay an article processing charge for open access.

Institutional repository

A collection of research outputs from researchers based at a specific university or institution, e.g. SHURA.


Also known as the "author's accepted manuscript", "author manuscript", or "final author version". It is the version of the submitted manuscript

  1. after peer-review with all academically necessary changes made in response to that review
  2. before any copy-editing and typesetting by the publisher  

Subject repository

A collection of research outputs from researchers in a specific discipline, e.g. arXiv includes work in physics, maths and computing. The researchers are based at a variety of universities and institutions.

Last updated: 24 October, 2016

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