Open Access - Glossary
Article Processing Charge (APC)
The Article Processing Charge, often associated with the Gold Open Access route, is a fee required by journal publishers to make articles open access immediately on publication.
If your research has been externally funded you may be eligible for assistance with paying your APC through the University Publication Fund (UPF).
The version submitted to a journal
Definitions: Pre-print, author submitted article/version.
Step: The peer review process is not yet started.
The version accepted for publication
Definitions: Post-print, author's accepted manuscript/article, author's final copy (AFC).
Step: The peer reviewed process is completed: the version is usually in a document or text format with the peer-review changes incorporated but not yet typeset and formatted by the publisher.
Notes: This is usually the version that publishers allow to deposit in repositories such as White Rose Research Online (WRRO) and is the version required for submission to the REF. Authors must remember to retain this version as these are not routinely available from publishers after publication.
The published version
Definitions: Final published article, final/definitive published version, version of record, publisher PDF, publisher's version.
Step: The final version of the article as published in a journal with all changes complete and copy-edited by the publisher.
Creative Commons Licences
Creative Commons licences allow authors/creators to retain copyright while still permitting others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work. Funders who pay for APCs on behalf of authors usually specify that the work must be made available with a CC-BY licence.
For more information and a description of the different types of licences available please visit the Creative Commons website
Digital object identifier (DOI)
A DOI is a serial code, assigned by the International DOI Foundation, to identify, find and cite digital objects, such as journal articles or datasets. DOIs remain fixed for the entire lifetime of the document/object and can be incorporated into URLs, allowing permanent access, even if the digital content has moved online location.
While many journals/publishers will allow authors to deposit the accepted version of their article into a repository, they will also often specify that the full-text of that version can not be made available on the web before a certain period of time has elapsed after the article is published on the journal website. This is known as an embargo period.
The embargo period for specific journals/publishers can usually be found in the SHERPA/RoMEO database.
Green Open Access
A publisher-permitted version of a journal article is deposited into an institutional or subject repository. Embargo periods usually apply. Publisher/journal conditions for green open access can usually be found in the SHERPA/RoMEO database. (Please note, it is the authors responsibility to retain the appropriate version of your article for depositing into a repository as these are not routinely available from publishers after publication.)
Gold Open Access
Authors submit papers to commercial open access or hybrid journals which offer free access immediately on publication on the journal’s own website. For commercial OA publishers, the author usually has to pay an article processing charge (APC).
Traditional subscription-based journals charge annual subscription fees and deliver their content to subscribers only.
Pure open access journals, make all articles available for free online immediately on publication. Some pure open access journals are entirely free for both the author and the reader, but many charge the author a publication fee known as an Article Processing Charge (APC).
Hybrid journals are subscription journals which also offer authors the option to choose immediate open access for individual articles on payment of an APC.
Institutional repositories (IRs) are part of the self-archiving open access strategy and usually focus on the literature produced by one or more institutions. The IR for the University of Sheffield is White Rose Research Online. It is operated through the White Rose Consortium with the Universities of Leeds and York. WRRO contains a variety of materials such as peer-reviewed articles, eprints, technical reports, conference presentations.
Subject-based repositories focus on outputs from specific domains. Examples of these include arXiv (maths, physics, and other scientific disciplines), Social Science Research Network (social sciences), and CogPrints (psychology, computer science, and other cognition-related disciplines).
The OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) is a searchable database of repositories around the world.
SPARC® (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), is an alliance of universities, research libraries, and organizations which sponsors and publishes SOAN, a monthly newsletter offering news and analysis of the open access movement. If you'd like to know more about SPARC or subscribe to SOAN, please follow the links below:
University Publication Fund (UPF)
In order to access the University Publication Fund, at least one of the authors of the article or monograph must be a current employee or student of The University of Sheffield. Furthermore, the results reported in the work must have been funded in whole or in part by RCUK or COAF, and this funding acknowledged on the publication.