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Glossary of OA terms

Based on the glossary from UNESCO's "Policy guidelines for the development and promotion of open access."

  • BOAI: Budapest Open Access Initiative

    This is the first formal definition of Open Access, developed at an Open Society Institute (now Open Society Foundations)-funded meeting in Budapest, Hungary in December 2001 and published on 14 February 2002.

  • Creative Commons

    A non-profit organisation that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure to enable sharing of digital outputs, including by the development of a suite of licensing products.

  • Data mining

    Computational process whereby text or datasets are crawled by software that recognises entities, relationships and actions and can put these together in new ways to create new knowledge.

  • Double dipping

    The practice where a publisher offers 'gold' open Access in an otherwise subscription-based journal, without a commitment to reduce subscription charges in line with the new revenue stream. The author pays an article-processing fee and the publisher makes that article Open Access: the rest of the issue is only available to subscribers. Some publishers do reduce their subscription rates as revenue from APCs increases but most do not, and therefore ‘double-dip’ into research community funds.

  • Eprint

    An electronic version of a journal article or book chapter.

  • Gold open access

    Open access achieved by publishing articles in open access journals.

  • Green open access

    Open Access achieved by depositing items (journal articles, peer-reviewed conference papers and theses) in an open access repository, a process known as 'self-archiving.'

  • Hybrid open access

    Open access on a single-article basis in an otherwise subscription-based journal. Authors can pay to make their own article open access while the rest of the journal remains toll-access. Offered by publishers that wish to maintain their subscription-based business but still offer an open access option, and may be seen as a transition mechanism towards full open access at some time in the future.

  • Metadata

    The information that describes an object. In scholarly communication terms the object could be an article, book, dataset, etc. The metadata (or bibliographic data) describe the authorship, provenance, publication location, date of publication, object type and so forth.


    Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. A technical standard for metadata for open access repositories and open access journals. Adherence to this standard ensures interoperability.

  • Open data

    In the scholarly communication context, open data are datasets produced by research that are made openly available. Some conditions on their use may apply depending on the need for privacy or similar restrictions.

  • Postprint

    A journal article (or book chapter or book) that has been peer-reviewed and revised appropriately as a result of peer review, but is still in the format created by the author (i.e. not the publisher's formatted form).

  • Preprint

    A journal article (or book chapter or book) that has not yet been peer-reviewed.

  • Repository

    A database of digital research outputs. May be institutionally-based or be a service to a particular disciplinary, geographical, or other type of community.

  • Self archiving

    The process of depositing a digital research article or other digital research output into an open access repository.

  • Text mining

    Computational process whereby texts are crawled by software that recognises entities, relationships, and actions and can put these together in new ways to create new knowledge.