Open access key terms

Open Research

The University of Aberdeen is committed to open research, ensuring there are no barriers to sharing knowledge.

Open access key terms
Article Processing Charges (APC)

Fee charged by a publisher to the author(s), to make the publication immediately open access on the publisher’s website in fully open access or hybrid journals.


Aberdeen University Research Archive (AURA) is the institutional repository at the University of Aberdeen. Open access publications with an attached full text file in Pure are uploaded to AURA.

Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) or postprint

The version of an article or chapter that has undergone peer review and has been accepted by the publisher but before the publisher formatting has been applied. The AAM is generally in the form of a Word document. This is the version required for submission to the REF and allowed to be deposited in repositories.

Closed deposit

Copies of the manuscript that are posted in repositories but subjected to an embargo period. During the embargo, the metadata of the article, not the text, can be made available. The REF Open Access policy allows for closed deposits, as long as the article itself is made available at the end of the embargo period.


Statutory right of ownership of an intellectual property (written, printed, graphic, electronic or performance). Copyright exists to protect the rights of the person(s) who has created a work and ensure that they receive due recognition for their contribution. Find more about copyright on our webpages.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

A unique code that identifies a digital object in a persistent way. DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports, data sets, and official publications. The DOI system itself is operated by the International DOI Foundation.

Early view (e-pub ahead of print)

Version of an article made available online by the journal before the publication process is complete, i.e. before the article has been assigned to a volume or article number. The early view publication date should be taken as the date of publication of an article.


Period of time during which access to articles published in academic journals is not allowed to users who have not paid for access (or have access through their institution). Once the embargo has elapsed a full text (AAM or VoR) can be made openly available. You can check the embargo periods of different journals using the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publishers' policies.

Fully Open Access Journal

Journals that make all their articles freely available online, and often use open licences. Most open access journals require payment of APCs. A list of OA journals can be found in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Gold Open Access

The article is open access immediately on publication (i.e. at the journal’s own website). Authors generally retain full copyrights over their work and uses open licences to enable reuse. It usually requires the payment of APCs.

Green Open Access

The article is published behind a paywall. Authors can deposit a version of their manuscript (usually the AAM) in an institutional or subject repository which can be accessed freely, usually after an embargo period.

Hybrid Journal

Subscription-based journal that allows for individual articles to be made open access on the payment of an article processing charge (APC).


In the context of open access repositories, metadata of every deposit describes the research output (journal article, conference paper, book chapter, etc.); the version (AAM, VoR, submitted); title, authors, the publication date, publisher, DOI, licensing and copyright, embargo end date, if applicable, funding and so on.

Open Licensing

Open licences allow others to make use of a copyrighted work as long as they follow the conditions of the licence. The suite of Creative Commons open licences are commonly used in academic publishing, the most permissive being CC BY.


Researchers' persistent and unique identifier which distinguishes them from other researchers and makes sure their work is identifiable.

Public Research Portal

Pure provides a public research portal to showcase academic reaserch and activities. Publications, Datasets, Activities and other data added to Pure with a visibility of Public will be displayed on the Public Research Portal.


Pure is the University of Aberdeen’s research information system. Pure captures a wide range of research-related outcomes, impact, and activities, and promotes the University’s research excellence to the wider community.

REF (Research Excellence Framework)

System for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It is administered by Research England, which was formerly the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Repository: Institutional

Long-preservation archive for research outputs (thesis, articles, books, chapters, conference proceedings, technical reports, etc) produced by members of an institution. AURA is the institutional repository of the University of Aberdeen.

Repository: subject- based

Long-preservation archive for outputs from specific domains, e.g. arXiv (maths, physics, and other scientific disciplines), Social Science Research Network (social sciences). You can use OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) to search for repositories around the world.

Submitted manuscript or preprint

Manuscript that has been submitted to a publication but has not been through peer review yet. It may be available online through a preprint server, but has not been accepted for publication by a publisher.

Transformative Agreement or transitional agreement

Contract negotiated between institutions or consortia and publishers in order to move towards a gold open access business model. In the UK, JISC negotiates transformative agreements on our behalf. There are slight differences between agreements, but they generally mean that corresponding authors from an affiliated institution are eligible to make their articles open access at no cost to themselves (see our transitional agreements here). Sometimes also called a read & publish agreement.

Version of Record (VoR) or published version

The final version of an article, which has been copy-edited and typeset by the publisher. If the VoR is released in ‘early view’ format, it may not include volume/page numbers.