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Scholarly Communication

Glossary of Scholarly Communication and Open Access Terms


“New metrics proposed as an alternative to the widely used journal impact factor and personal citation indices like the h-index. The term altmetrics was proposed as a generalization of article level metrics, and has its roots in the twitter #altmetrics hashtag. Although altmetrics are often thought of as metrics about articles, they can be applied to people, journals, books, data sets, presentations, videos, source code repositories, web pages, etc. Altmetrics cover not just citation counts, but also other aspects of the impact of a work, such as how many data and knowledge bases refer to it, article views, downloads, or mentions in social media and news media” (, accessed March 29, 2014). See also Bibliometrics.

Author's Rights:

“A part of copyright law. The term is a direct translation of the French term droit d’auteur (also German Urheberrecht), and is generally used in relation to the copyright laws of civil law countries and in European Union law. Authors’ rights are internationally protected by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and by other similar treaties” (, accessed March 29, 2013). In scholarly publishing discussions, the phrase Author’s Rights has been extended to encompass those rights in their work that an author retains after entering into an publishing agreement with a specific publisher.


“A set of methods to quantitatively analyze academic literature. Citation analysis and content analysis are commonly used bibliometric methods. While bibliometric methods are most often used in the field of library and information science, bibliometrics have wide applications in other areas. Many research fields use bibliometric methods to explore the impact of their field, the impact of a set of researchers, or the impact of a particular paper.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Content Management Systems (CMS):

A common type of software platform used to build websites, which allow users with few technical skills to set up basic websites with relative ease. These platforms are best used for publishing, editing, and organizing digital content, and can often accommodate multiple content editors. Examples of CMSs include Drupal, Zope, and Joomla.

Creative Commons (CC):

“A non-profit organization … devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

A character string assigned by a registration agency used to uniquely identify a digital object such as an electronic document. The registry maintains location and other metadata about the object, so that the object can be persistently linked to even when it changes location.

Digital Preservation:

“In library and archival science, digital preservation is a formal endeavor to ensure that digital information of continuing value remains accessible and usable. It involves planning, resource allocation, and application of preservation methods and technologies, and it combines policies, strategies and actions to ensure access to reformatted and ‘born-digital’ content, regardless of the challenges of media failure and technological change. The goal of digital preservation is the accurate rendering of authenticated content over time” (, accessed April 8, 2014). See also Trusted Digital Repositories.

Digital Rights Management (DRM):

“A class of technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders, and individuals with the intent to control the use of digital content and devices after sale.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Dublin Core:

A standard metadata schema used to provide information about web resources. See the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, See also Metadata.

eXtensible Markup Language (XML):

A language and syntax for annotating text with additional text to give instructions as to how the marked-up text should be processed. The resulting document is both human and machine-readable. Unlike HTML, which is designed to indicate how text should be displayed, XML is a language for encoding models and instances of data, digital objects, and processes. Standardized XML schemas enable the interchange of documents and data between systems. This mark-up language has become the standard for the production of scholarly books and journals.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD):

“A tactic used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics, and propaganda. FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence perception by disseminating negative and dubious or false information. The term originated to describe disinformation tactics in the computer hardware industry but has since been used more broadly.” (,_uncertainty_and_doubt, accessed March 29, 2014)

Green Open Access

Self-archiving, also known as green open access, refers to the practice of depositing articles in an institutional repository or a subject repository such as arXiv. Green open access journal publishers endorse immediate open access self-archiving by their authors. (, accessed October 6, 2015)

Gold open access

Open access achieved by publishing articles in open access journals. (, accessed October 6, 2015)

HyperText Markup Language (HTML):

A language and syntax for annotating text with additional text to give instructions as to how the marked-up text should be presented. The resulting document is both human and machine-readable. A fixed number of tags are used in HTML to identify elements and to give instructions for their display on screen when parsed by a graphical web browser. HTML5 is the fifth and latest version of the mark-up language. See also Mark-up.

Impact Factor:

See Bibliometrics


“A (document) mark-up language is a modern system for annotating a document in a way that is syntactically distinguishable from the text. The idea and terminology evolved from the ‘marking up’ of paper manuscripts, i.e., the revision instructions by editors, traditionally written with a blue pencil on authors’ manuscripts. In digital media this ‘blue pencil instruction text’ was replaced by tags, that is, instructions are expressed directly by tags or ‘instruction text encapsulated by tags.’” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC):

“An online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants. MOOCs are a recent development in distance education. Although early MOOCs often emphasized open access features, such as connectivism and open licensing of content, structure, and learning goals, to promote the reuse and remixing of resources, some notable newer MOOCs use closed licenses for their course materials, while maintaining free access for students.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Mega Journal:

A very large publishing platform (publishing thousands of articles per year) designed to benefit from economies of scale. Mega journals are open access and built around the collection of author fees. They typically engage in peer-review to screen out unacceptable papers while not seeking to publish only a limited number of high impact papers.


“Commonly defined as ‘data about data.’ The term is ambiguous, as it is used for two fundamentally different concepts (types). Structural metadata is about the design and specification of data structures and is more properly called ‘data about the containers of data’; descriptive metadata, on the other hand, is about individual instances of application data, the data content.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Open Access (OA):

“Unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed scholarly research. Open access is primarily intended for scholarly journal articles, but is also provided for a growing number of theses, book chapters, and scholarly monographs. Open access comes in two degrees: gratis OA, which is free online access, and libre OA, which is free online access plus some additional usage rights. These additional usage rights are often granted through the use of various specific Creative Commons licenses. The two ways authors can provide open access are (1) by self-archiving their journal articles in an OA repository, also known as ‘green’ OA, or (2) by publishing in an open access journal, known as ‘gold’ OA.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH):

“A low-barrier mechanism for repository interoperability. Data providers are repositories that expose structured metadata via OAI-PMH. Service providers then make OAI-PMH service requests to harvest that metadata.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Open Education:

“A collective term to describe institutional practices and programmatic initiatives that broaden access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems. The qualifier ‘open’ of open education refers to the elimination of barriers that can preclude both opportunities and recognition for participation in institution-based learning. One aspect of openness in or ‘opening up’ education is the development and adoption of open educational resources.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Open Educational Resources (OER):

“Freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, educational, assessment, and research purposes. Although some people consider the use of an open format to be an essential characteristic of OER, this is not a universally acknowledged requirement. The development and promotion of open educational resources is often motivated by a desire to curb the commodification of knowledge and provide an alternate or enhanced educational paradigm.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Open Journal Systems (OJS):

Open-source software designed for open-access academic publishing. First released in 2001, the software was created by Public Knowledge Project (PKP), a nonprofit initiative involving a number of universities and researchers. It is among the most widely used publishing platform in the world. Cultural Anthropology has used OJS since 2008 for its submission management system.

Open Source (OSS):

“Computer software with its source code made available and licensed with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

Page Charges:

Fees charged by a publisher to authors of accepted manuscripts intended to offset publishing expenses associated with publishing a work of scholarship. The term derives from print publishing wherein a set amount per typeset page was billed to the author.

Pay-Per-View Fees:

See Toll Access.


See Toll Access.

Predatory Journals:

“In academic publishing, some publishers and journals have attempted to exploit the business model of open-access publishing by charging large fees to authors without providing the editorial and publishing services associated with more established and legitimate journals.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)


“An online archive for collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the intellectual output of an institution, particularly a research institution” (, accessed March 29, 2014). “A disciplinary repository (or subject repository) is an online archive containing works or data associated with these works of scholars in a particular subject area. In contrast to institutional repositories, disciplinary repositories can accept work from scholars from any institution” (, accessed March 29, 2014). See also Digital Preservation, Trusted Digital Repository.

Serials Crisis:

“A common shorthand term to describe the chronic subscription cost-increases of many scholarly journals. The prices of these institutional or library subscriptions have been rising much faster than the Consumer Price Index for several decades, while the funds available to the libraries have remained static or have declined in real terms. As a result, academic and research libraries have regularly canceled serial subscriptions to accommodate price increases of the remaining current subscriptions.” (, accessed March 29, 2014)

‚ÄčToll Access:

In discussions of scholarly communication, the phrase toll access is used to refer to online resources for which payments must be made in exchange for access. This can, for instance, take the form of subscription charges or “a la carte” payments (e.g., pay-per-view fees) for access to a particular work of scholarship. Purchased access may be more or less permanent. Works for which payments must be made are often referred to as existing “behind a paywall.”

Trusted Digital Repository (TDR):

“Defined [by the Research Libraries Group and Online Computer Library Center] as a repository ‘whose mission is to provide reliable, long-term access to managed digital resources to its designated community, now and in the future.’ The TDR must include the following seven attributes: compliance with the reference model for an Open Archival Information System, administrative responsibility, organizational viability, financial sustainability, technological and procedural suitability, system security, procedural accountability. The TDR Model outlines relationships among these attributes.” (, accessed March 28, 2014)


See eXtensible Markup Language.

From "Glossary of Open Access Terms." May 2014. Cultural Anthropology: