Skip to Main Content

Open Access


Open access (OA) discussions can use a lot of specialist terms and acronyms. Below you will find some terms and names commonly used in the literature on OA.

If you think something is missing, please suggest a term by email to DRO Support!


Accepted manuscript

The accepted manuscript of a research output is the author's final version, responding to peer reviewer comments, but prior to the publisher's final copyediting, typesetting and formatting.

See "Versions of a traditional research publication".

APC (article processing charge)

To publish research OA, a publisher may require the payment of an article processing charge (APC). APCs can range from a few hundred dollars, to over 5,000 USD. They tend to be lower with OA journals than hybrid journals (Shamash, 2016Morrison, 2018).

Most OA journals do not require APCs at all, being supported by a university or society. Those that aren't externally funded will find APCs necessary to cover publication costs. 

Many academic book publishers will also allow a book or book chapter to be made OA for a fee.


Black OA

The term "Black OA" is sometimes used to refer to paywalled (closed) research that has been illegally uploaded to file sharing websites. As this is not a lawful practice, it is not commonly accepted as a true open access subtype (Piwowar et al., 2018).

Bronze OA

Piwowar et al (2018) introduced the term "Bronze OA" to refer to articles that are free to read online, but lack clear licensing (e.g. Creative Commons). This lack of licensing can create barriers to the research being shared or used for educational purposes (Costello, 2019).


Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a globally recognised licensing system that allows a creator to govern what the public can do with their work. There are a range of Creative Commons licences to choose from, each with their own conditions.


Diamond OA (or Platinum OA)

The terms "Diamond OA" and "Platinum OA" have been used to refer to open access journals that do not have article processing charges. Such journals are thus free for authors as well as readers. They are also referred to as "Community-controlled" OA journals, and are usually funded by universities, governments, societies or associations. Deakin's open access journals are examples of Diamond OA publications.

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)

​DOAJ is the leading directory of OA journals, providing details of OA journals and their policies. Many OA journals are also indexed in DOAJ, which can be searched at the article level. DOAJ also has high quality control standards to weed out predatory journals.

DRO (Deakin Research Online)

DRO is Deakin University's research repository. It records and preserves the University's research outputs and enables worldwide discovery. It is an institutional repository that hosts both OA versions and citation-only records of publications.



In 2016, the F.A.I.R. Policy Statement was released by Universities Australia. It encourages the use of OA publishing and Creative Commons licences to make Australian research Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. It aims to promote greater impact for Australian research by removing barriers to access.


Gold OA

Gold OA is when research is available as open access directly from the publisher. Authors usually retain copyright over their work. The publisher may release the work under a Creative Commons licence, which grants others limited sharing and reuse rights.

Publishing Gold OA may require the payment of an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher. Gold OA articles appear in either OA journals or hybrid journals

See "Making your research open access: Publishing Gold OA" for more information.

Green OA

Green OA is when an approved version of an otherwise paywalled publication is OA in a repository, such as DRO. Green OA is also called the "author archiving" or "self-archiving" model.

Deakin authors can use Elements to deposit the accepted manuscript of an article, which most journals allow to be made Green OA in DRO. 

See "Making your research open access: Deposit for Green OA" for more information.


Hybrid journal

A hybrid journal is a subscription (paywalled) journal that will make articles open access for a fee (or article processing charge). The article then appears in the journal alongside subscription-only content.

Publishing OA in hybrid journals is often more expensive than publishing in OA journals. It is also discouraged by many grant providers, including supporters of the Plan S open access initiative. Some researchers do not consider hybrid a proper form of Gold OA, as it supports unsustainable subscription models (Piwowar et al. 2018).


In-press version

An in-press version is an early publisher's version of a journal article. It may appear on the publisher's website prior to the article's final publication. The in-press version typically includes the publisher's copyediting, typesetting, fonts, and formatting, but without final pagination.

See "Versions of a traditional research publication".

Institutional repository

An institutional repository, or research repository, is an archive collecting, disseminating, and preserving the research output of a university. Deakin's institutional repository is DRO. Most journals allow the accepted manuscript of an article to be made Green OA in the author's institutional repository.


OA (open access)

Open access (OA) research is research that is free to read online by anyone with an internet connection. There are different subtypes of OA, including Gold OA and Green OA. Publishing OA has many benefits, including wider dissemination and increased citation rates.

An influential, though restrictive, definition of OA was formulated by the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002): "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."

OA journal

An OA journal is a journal that publishes all contents as full and immediate open access (Gold OA). Authors usually retain copyright over their work. Many OA journals publish under Creative Commons licences. Most OA journals in DOAJ do not charge APCs and almost all are peer reviewed (Morrison, 2018). As distinct from closed (paywalled) journals and hybrid journals.

OER (Open Educational Resource)

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are openly accessible resources used in learning and teaching. These include OA textbooks, OA journal and book publications, and other resources with Creative Commons licences.

UNESCO defines OER as "teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions."



Closed research appears behind a "paywall" that requires users to either buy the article or book in question, or subscribe to the journal.

Researchers can often access "paywalled" research through their university library. But access will depend on what journal and database subscriptions have the university has purchased. Free access is not possible for independent researchers, those whose libraries are struggling financially, or the general public.

Plan S

Plan S is an open access initiative for scientific research. It was launched in September 2018 by cOAlition S, a consortium of international research funders. Supporters include Wellcome, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Health Organisation. Plan S supporters requires that, from 2021, all publications resulting from their funding are immediately available as open access. They require publication in OA journals or OA platforms, or immediate availability in OA repositories. They do not support hybrid publication models.

Post-print version

See accepted manuscript.

Use of the term post-print is not always consistent. It most often refers to the author's accepted manuscript, not the published version, especially in discussions of OA.

Pre-print version

See submitted manuscript.

Use of the term pre-print is not always consistent. It most often refers to the author's submitted manuscriptnot the accepted manuscript, especially in discussions of OA.

Published version

The published version of a research output is its final version, usually in PDF format. It will include the publisher's copyediting, typesetting, formatting, and pagination. It can usually be downloaded from the publisher's website or an online database. Unless it was published Gold OA, it will be paywalled. Also called the publisher's PDF, in-print version, or version of record.

See "Versions of a traditional research publication".



See Green OA.


Sherpa/Romeo is the leading database of journals and their OA policies (a deposit policy register). Check a journal's listing in Sherpa/Romeo to find what version, if any, can be made OA after deposit into DRO. (Also written "SHERPA/RoMEO" based on their website design.)

Submitted manuscript

The version of a research paper or book first submitted to a journal or book publisher. This version has not been through editorial or peer review.

Submitted manuscripts can sometimes be made Green OA, although most institutional repositories (including DRO) refrain from making non-refereed research OA. Submitted manuscripts also do not fulfill the mandated OA requirements of most grants, including ARC and NHMRC

See "Versions of a traditional research publication".


VoR (version of record)

See published version.