Embargo period:

A publisher-defined period of delay during which access to an open access version of the article is not available to users. The period of time between publication of the paper in non-open access form and making an article open access is set up by the journal publisher and is often 6-12 months or longer.  After the embargo period open access to the publication is possible.

Final draft = Post print = aka Post-print / AAM:

The peer-reviewed manuscript, meaning the final peer-reviewed version submitted by the author to the publisher, which does not have the layout of the publisher. (Please note! Here ‘post’ refers to after peer review, not after printing.)


Manuscript. The manuscript version which has not been peer-reviewed. (Please note!
Here ‘pre’ refers to before peer review, not before printing.)

Gold open access, Gold OA:

Also referred to as open access publishing, Gold OA means that an article is immediately provided in open access mode as published. In this model, the payment of publication costs is shifted away from readers paying via subscriptions. The business model most often encountered is based on one-off payments by authors. These costs (often referred to as Author Processing Charges, APCs) can usually be borne by the university or research institute to which the researcher is affiliated, or to the funding agency supporting the research. In other cases, the costs of open access publishing are covered by subsidies or other funding models. Causes usually additional costs but has no embargo.

Illustration by Emmi Kyytsönen / Karppi Design

Green open access, Green OA:

Also referred to as self-archiving, Green OA means that the published article or the final peer-reviewed manuscript is archived by the author - or a representative - in an online repository before, alongside or after its publication. Repository software usually allows authors to delay access to the article (‘embargo period’). Free of charge for the researcher, but often only after an embargo period.

Hybrid Open Access:

Refers to a journal where only some of the articles are open access. Open access status typically requires paying a separate charge.

APC (article processing charge):

A fee (variable according to the journal) charged by the publisher of a gold open access publication. Refers to a charge related to publications, used to cover the costs of article processing (e.g. peer-reviewing, editing, publishing, maintaining and archiving). Since open access is free of charge to the end user, different models have been developed to cover the publishing costs, and charging. Article processing charges is one model.

Predatory publishers:

Refers to publishers who offer open access for a charge but whose quality and services do not meet the standards set for scientific publications.

Illustration by Emmi Kyytsönen / Karppi Design

Vanity publishers:

Vanity publishers are not recognised as established publishers of scientific publications. They approach researchers by, for instance, sending the same e-mail invitation to anyone publishing a thesis in English. While the charges are usually minor, publishing with these publishers may be detrimental to the researcher’s academic reputation.


Depositing an article in an institutional or discipline-based repository simultaneously with the official publication and making it openly available to the public, often after an embargo period. Self-archiving process includes the deposit and the requisite embargo period. The publication is available as open access after the embargo. Usually, the self-archived version is the peer-reviewed manuscript, not the final version.

Creative Commons licences:

Creative Commons licenses are standard-format licenses. Different licences allow a different degree of openness. The most open license is CC0 (CCzero) waiver does not require mentioning authors and it is commonly used e.g. to allow open access to metadata. The CC BY 4.0, which requires giving appropriate credit to the creator, is also approved for free cultural works.

For details on licences, see creativecommons.org.

Page content by: maria.rehbinder [at] aalto [dot] fi (Maria Rehbinder) | Last updated: 10.12.2015.