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As scholarly communication changes and advances, new terms and organizations are constantly emerging. To help you navigate the alphabet soup, we've put together this brief glossary that offers quick definitions for commonly encountered terms (and links to fuller definitions where warranted).
The Association of College and Research Libraries. Developers of the Scholarly Communication Toolkit.
The Association of Research Libraries. Developers and supporters of SPARC.
e-print service in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, and quantitative biology. The most successful example of a discipline-specific digital repository, and pointed to by many as evidence that open access and traditional publishing can co-exist.
Landmark 2002 document in the open access movement. Signatories agreed that scholarly information, particularly scientific articles, should be freely available in order to advance the discipline as well as the readership of the articles. That is, that they should be "OA" (freely available via open access) either because they are in open access journals or because they have been deposited in on OA repository.
A business practice of many large commercial publishers that entails offering universities access to a large group of journal titles at a discounted price. Can lower the average cost of access per journal, but reduces library control over collections and increases publishers' market power over libraries.
An organization that, according to its website, "offers a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors and artists. We have built upon the "all rights reserved" of traditional copyright to create a voluntary "some rights reserved" copyright." Public Library of Science is one prominent open access publisher that makes use of the Creative Commons Attribution License for the work it publishes.
An online, searchable, web-accessible database containing works of research deposited by scholars. Purpose is both increased access to scholarship and long-term preservation. Digital repositories are often built to serve a specific institution's community of users, in which cases they are called institutional repositories. There are also discipline-specific digital repositories, like arXiv.org. Most digital repositories may be searched together via OAIster.
An open source digital repository software that was originally produced by MIT. The Dspace system is widely used for university institutional repositories, including U of Illinois's IDEALS project. Other widely used open repository software include Eprints and Fedora.
A provision of copyright law that outlines the extent to which copyrighted work can be used or reproduced without seeking the permission of the copyright holder. Libraries rely on fair use to be able to provide access to research materials, and scholars depend on it to allow them to cite the research of others in their work. [For more info, see U of Illinois CITES EdTech: Copyright and Fair Use]
Refers to the traditional practice of scholarly communication publishing, in which researchers freely give their work to publishers with no expectation of monetary gain, but with the understanding that publishers will provide the widest possible audience for their work.
Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship, the University of Illinois' institutional repository project. [Read more about IDEALS on this site.]
A type of digital repository that is designed to collect the work of a particular institution (usually a university), as opposed to a disciplinary repository like ar Xiv. IDEALS is the institutional repository of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"...a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution." Clifford Lynch, " Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age."
The OAI develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. Its major contribution is the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, a set of guidelines that enable repositories to expose the metadata describing their content to service providers who harvest the metadata into large aggregations (see OAIster, below). Intended to expose the work deposited in repositories to the widest possible audience and ensure the interoperability of repositories. (Note: do not confuse OAI with OA (open access)!
The goal of OAIster is to create a collection of freely available, previously difficult-to-access, academically-oriented digital resources (digital repositories) that are easily searchable by anyone. It is a searchable aggregation of the descriptive content (metadata) from hundreds of digital repositories that uses the OAI protocol to aggregate the metadata.
The scholarly communication reform movement that aims to make scholarly literature freely available on the public web. An umbrella term, open access includes both open access journal publishing and author self-archiving in digital repositories or on personal websites.
From Suber's Open Access Overview: "Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions."
From the Budapest Open Access Initiative: "By 'open access' to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited."
Gold OA: when a journal charges it's authors to make a particular article OA. The article will be peer-reviewed, and the article will be OA from the time that it is published.
Green OA: an article that has been deposited into a repository such as a university archive or subject respositories such as PubMed. In most cases there is no cost to deposit the article, making it OA. There is sometimes a time lag from the time of publication. According to Peter Suber, this term may be applied "to any version of an article: a preprint, the published edition of the postprint, or the peer-reviewed but not copy-edited version of the postprint." Many funding agencies are mandating or considering mandating Green OA for the articles that result from their funding.
A scholarly article that has not yet passed the peer review/refereeing process. See also the Sherpa definition.
A scholarly article in its final form, after it has gone through the peer review/refereeing process. Publishers often distinguish between pre- and post-prints in their policies on self-archiving articles. Postprints are not the pdf produced by the publishers, but may be a Word or PDF produced by the author. Since additional changes may occur during the proofing process, post-prints are not considered "the version of record" and thus are of lesser value than the published version of an article. See also the Sherpa definition.
A project that defined the archiving policies of publishers. Now part of the SHERPA (see below). You will see publishers defined as having a Romeo color of white, yellow, blue, and green, which means:
|white||archiving not formally supported|
|yellow||can archive preprint (i.e., pre-refereeing)|
|blue||can archive post-print (i.e., final draft post-refereeing)|
|green||can archive preprint and postprint|
See also: Open access, types of
Placing a copy of an article (or other scholarly work of research) in a digital repository. Sometimes this term is also used to refer to the practice of authors placing their articles on personal websites, though this is technically not archiving them, as there is no assurance of preservation, as there is with institutional repositories.
Use this site to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. Searchable by publisher name or journal title. Find out if you can post open access versions of your articles in IDEALS.
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, "an alliance of universities, research libraries, and organizations... helping to create systems that expand information dissemination and use in a networked digital environment while responding to the needs of academe." Works to develop and support open access or low-cost academic journals. U of Illinois is a member.
Scientific, technical, and medical. In the scholarly communication literature, this abbreviation is often used as shorthand for the area of publishing that has seen the worst instances of price increases.
A set of nine principles devised by several major American research libraries in 2000 and intended to "guide the transformation of the scholarly publishing system." Among other things, the Tempe Principles recommend that the university community work on ways to alleviate the journal pricing problem and that faculty should aim to retain copyright control over their work. The U of Illinois Senate endorsed the Principles in 2003.
Electronic, multimedia, and usually multi-authored works of scholarship designed to support research. An alternative to traditional monograph publishing in the humanities proposed by John Unsworth (Dean of U of Illinois's Graduate School of Library and Information Science). [Link]