The Open Scholarship Initiative
Working together in partnership with UNESCO to improve the future of open

Definitions

    • Accepted author manuscript (AAM): The version of a manuscript that has been accepted by a publisher for publication.
    • Altmetrics: Alternative ways of recording and measuring the use and impact of scholarship. Rather than solely counting the number of times a work is cited in scholarly literature, alternative metrics also measure and analyze social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, etc.), document downloads, links to publishing and unpublished research, and other uses of research literature, in order to provide a more comprehensive measurement of scholarships reach and impact.
    • Article processing charge (APC): A fee charged to the author, creator, or institution to cover the cost of an article, rather than charging the potential reader of the article. APCs may apply to both commercial and open access publications. APCs are sometimes charged to authors in order to cover the cost of publishing and disseminating an article in an open access scholarly journal.
    • Article-level metrics: All types of article-level metrics including download and usage statistics, citations, and article-level altmetrics.
    • Bibliometrics: The branch of library and information science concerned with the application of mathematical and statistical analysis to bibliography. Bibliometrics involves the statistical analysis of books, articles, or other publications.
    • CC-BY license: A Creative Commons license compatible with the most stringent stipulations of open access, and which allows the reuse, sharing, and remixing of materials providing the original author is appropriately attributed.
    • Copyright: The aspect of Intellectual property that gives creators the right to permit (or not permit) what happens to their creations, as opposed to trademark rights or moral rights.
    • Creative Commons licenses: A suite of licenses that set out the rights of authors and users, providing more “open” alternatives to the standard copyright.
    • Digital Object Identifier (DOI): A unique text string that is used to identify digital objects such as journal articles or open source software releases.
    • Double blind peer review: When the reviewers don’t know who the authors are, and vice versa.
    • Embargo period: A length of time imposed on a research output for users who have not paid for access, or do not have institutional access, before it is made freely available.
    • GNU GPL (General Public License): A free license for software and other kinds of works.
    • Gold OA: Making the final version of record of a research paper freely available immediately upon publication by the publisher. In order to facilitate this, the author (or her institution) pays a fee to the publisher to cover publishing costs.
    • Green OA: Making a version of a research paper (typically not the final version of record) freely available in a repository.
    • H-index: A personal metric that relates the number of citations to the number of published papers for an academic.
    • Hybrid journal: A type of journal in which certain articles are made open access while others remain subscription access.
    • Impact factor: A numerical (and controversial) measure that indicates the average number of citations to articles published over the previous two years in a journal, and frequently used as a proxy for a journal’s relative importance.
    • Institutional repository: An online database designed to collect the intellectual output of a particular institution or university, including digital collections such as electronic theses and dissertations, pre-prints, or faculty scholarship, and presents associated metadata regarding these items.
    • Intellectual property (IP): A legal term that refers to creations of the mind. Examples of intellectual property include music, literature, and other artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and phrases, symbols, and designs.
    • Intellectual property rights: The rights given to the owners of intellectual property, protected either automatically (e.g., copyright, design rights) or by registering or applying for it (e.g., trademarks, patents). Protecting intellectual property makes it easier to take legal action against anyone who steals or copies it. These rights can be legally sold, assigned or licensed by the creator to other parties, or joint-owned.
    • Journal: An aggregation of published research articles. Historically divided into volumes and issues.
    • Journal level metrics: Metrics that apply to all papers published within a journal. A common example is Thomson Reuters’ journal impact factor.
    • Mandate: Authority to carry out a policy—in this context, largely to conform to open access policies.
    • Megajournal: A journal with editorial criteria based on scientific soundness instead of a priori estimated newsworthiness or impact.
    • Open: [This definition is currently being debated within OSI.] Open means information that has been optimized for sharing with the public or with a particular set of readers. At its most open, this information is available without cost, immediately upon publishing, and includes the right to repurpose without attribution. Other types of open can be more restrictive, including open information that carries limited reuse conditions, limited embargo periods, and/or has less than ideal discoverability. The DARTS Framework, developed by OSI participants, proposes that the openness of information exists along five dimensions: discoverability, accessibility, reusability, transparency, and sustainability. The result is a broad spectrum of open states, not binary open-closed values (see “open spectrum,” below).
    • Open access (OA): Information (generally peer reviewed scholarly works) which is freely available without delay or restriction, permitting anyone to use this for any lawful purpose, without barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. Several different states of OA exist, including green, gold, hybrid, etc. (as defined in this list).
    • Open data: Data which is open (see “open,” above). At its most open, data can be downloaded, copied, analyzed, re-processed, or used for any other purpose without barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.
    • Open educational resources (OER): Openly licensed, online educational materials for sharing, use, and reuse.
    • Open peer review: When reviews are made openly available, typically alongside the article.
    • Open source software (OSS): Source code for a piece of software, along with an open source license permitting reuse, adaptation, and further distribution.
    • Open spectrum: The range of different types of open, from public access information (see “public access”) to open access information and everything in-between. The DARTS Framework, developed by OSI participants, proposes that the openness of information exists along five dimensions: discoverability, accessibility, reusability, transparency, and sustainability. The result is a broad spectrum of open states, not binary open-closed values.
    • Overlay journal: An open access, electronic journal that does not produce its own content, but selects and curates groups of articles that are already freely available online.
    • Paywall: Restriction via a financial barrier to research. Can be removed by personal or institutional subscription.
    • Peer review: A process by which a research article is vetted by experts in community before publication. Several variations of peer review are used (as defined in this list.)
    • Post publication peer review: Standard peer review, but after a research article has been formally published.
    • Post-print: A manuscript draft after it has been peer reviewed.
    • Pre-print: A manuscript draft that has not yet been subject to formal peer review, distributed to receive early feedback on research from peers.
    • Public access: A type of open, used predominately by US government agencies, in which information is made freely available following a brief embargo period and to which typical copyright restrictions (e.g., requiring author permission and/or source citation) normally apply.
    • Publisher: An entity (including corporation, university, research institution, society, trade group, etc.) who makes the outputs of research publicly available.
    • Publishing: The act of making research output available to the public.
    • Repository (article): An archive to deposit manuscripts. Legally, these can be personal or institutional, but aggregator sites such as ResearchGate also function as defacto repositories.
    • Repository (software): A collection of files managed with version control software (e.g., bzr, hg, git, csv, svn, etc.). Can be hosted by third-party (e.g., github, bitbucket, sourceforge), by an institution, or self-hosted locally.
    • Scholarly communication: The creation, transformation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge related to teaching, research, and scholarly endeavors; the process of academics, scholars and researchers sharing and publishing their research findings so that they are available to the wider academic community.
    • Version of record (VOR): The final version of a manuscript, after peer review and processing by publishers.

The initial version of this list was drawn from the work of Jon Tennant and Ross Mounce, “Open Research Glossary,” May 2015, Figshare. http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1482094