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Open access and rights retention

Terminology explained

Article Processing Charge (APC)


An article processing charge (APC) is a fee paid to a journal publisher to make the version of record of an article freely available on the journal website (gold open access).

Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) 

The version of the manuscript after changes in response to peer-reviewed but before the publisher's typesetting has been applied.  May otherwise be known as the ‘author manuscript’, ‘final author version’ or ‘post-print’.  

Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY) 

A license that allows re-users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in
any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows
for commercial use.

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).

The date of acceptance for conference proceedings is not necessarily the date at which your contribution to the conference was accepted for presentation, but rather the date at which your fully authored research output was accepted for publication in the conference proceedings.

Embargo period


An embargo period is a period of time after an article has been published and before the author accepted manuscript can be made accessible to the public.

Gold Open Access


Gold open access means the version of record of an output is made freely available on the journal or publisher’s website. An Article Processing Charge or similar fee is usually charged. The article is usually made available under a Creative Commons licence which facilitates reuse.

Green Open Access


Green open access is also known as ‘self-archiving'.  Authors deposit the author accepted manuscript of their article in an institutional or subject repository in parallel with conventional publication.  Publishers often require an embargo period before the file can be made accessible to the public.

Hybrid journal 

A journal that offers both subscription content and Open Access content. 

Institutional repository


An institutional repository collects, preserves and disseminates the research outputs of an institution. SHU’s institutional repository is called SHURA.  

Read-and-publish agreement 

This is an agreement between the university and a publisher, where the University pays an annual fee that covers both the cost of subscription to the publisher’s journals (‘read’) and the cost of publishing Gold Open Access in these journals (‘publish’). This means that publishing Open Access in journals covered by such an agreement does not incur extra cost because these costs have already been paid for as part of the annual fee your library pays under the agreement. Read-and-publish agreement are negotiated by Jisc on behalf of all UK universities.

Subject repository


A subject repository collects, preserves and disseminates research outputs in a particular subject and will accept work from scholars from different institutions.

Transformative agreement


A transformative agreement (also referred to as a transitional agreement) is a read-and-publish agreement which aims to transform the business model underlying scholarly publishing towards a fully open access model.

Version of Record (VoR) 

The published ‘version of record’ is usually a PDF that has undergone typesetting and usually has the publisher’s logo on it.