Alternative metrics (alt metrics)

Alternative ways of measuring the use of, and impact of, scholarship. Rather than solely measuring the number of times a work is cited in scholarly literature, alternative metrics also measure and analyze social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, etc.) to provide a more comprehensive measurement of scholarship’s reach and [...]


Author addendum

A contract addendum is a supplemental or added agreement that defines or changes the terms of the contract. For authors of scholarly works, an author addendum to a publisher’s standard publication contract may be necessary to help ensure that authors protect important rights such as the right to post their [...]


Author fees

An Open Access business model that charges authors a publication fee in order to cover the expenses of publication (peer review, journal production, online hosting, and archiving) in order to provide free access to readers. (Source: PLoS). See also “Gold OA.”


Author self-archiving

 To self-archive is to deposit a digital document or item in an online repository, ideally one that is publicly accessible. Depositing involves creating ”metadata”  (date, author-name, title, journal publication name, and other information) about the work, then attaching the document or item described. The depositor uses a web interface to describe and archive the work. (Source: [...]



A term sometimes used as a synonym for a “trademark.” In commercial circles, this term is used to refer to a combination of tangible and intangible elements (such as a trademark, design, logo, etc.) and the concept, image, and reputation that those elements convey about specified products and/or services.  (Source: WIPO)



A set of exclusive rights awarded to a copyright holder for an original and creative work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright is a limited statutory monopoly that gives a copyright holder the sole right to market a work for a limited period of time. Copyright [...]


Creative Commons

A non-profit organization that promotes the creative reuse of intellectual works, whether owned or in the public domain, through the use of licenses that define the rights copyright holders choose to retain and those uses that may be made of copyrighted works without the prior permission of the copyright holder. [...]


Data mining

The process of extracting useful information from online data. (Source: LibrarySpeak: A Glossary of Terms in Librarianship and Information Management)



A collection of interrelated data, usually presented in tabular form. See also Open Data.


Derivative or derivative works

A work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. ”A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications [...]


Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998

An amendment to U.S. copyright law, passed in 1998, that sought to address copyright concerns in the digital environment. (Source: Complete Copyright)  Among its many provisions, the DMCA prohibited the circumvention of digital rights management (DRM) technologies that control access to copyrighted works. Additionally, the DMCA implemented two 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization [...]


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

A persistent alphanumeric identifier given to digital objects, commonly articles in scholarly journals, that ensures access to the object regardless of changes to its location (e.g., URL) or metadata.


Digital repository

A type of content management system that stores, manages, and preserves digital content so that it can later be searched and retrieved, supporting research and learning. A digital repository can be subject- or institution-specific. (Source:


Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

A comprehensive online directory of Open Access scientific and scholarly journals. The directory aims to increase the visibility and ease of use of Open Access journals, thereby promoting their increased usage and impact.  (Source: DOAJ)


Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)

An electronic thesis or dissertation that can be accessed via the Internet in full or partial text. Many ETDs are published under Open Access principles. (Source: NDLTD)


Fair use

A concept defined in section 107 of the U.S. copyright law that allows a user to exercise an exclusive right in certain circumstances without the prior authorization of the copyright holder and without paying a royalty or permission fee. Use of copyrighted materials in face-to-face teaching in classroom settings, such as [...]


Geographic indications of source

 Names of places that are applied to particular products (for example, Champagne). Those products have characteristics closely identified with their geographical place of origin. (Source: WIPO)



glos·sa·ry   [glos-uh-ree, glaw-suh-] noun, plural glos·sa·ries. 1. a list of terms in a special subject, field, or area of usage, with accompanying definitions. 2. such a list at the back of a book, explaining or defining difficult or unusual words and expressions used in the text.


Gold Open Access (Gold OA)

 Open Access journals that are available to their readers free-of-charge from the moment of publication, without embargo or restriction. Authors may or may not pay (“author fee”) to have their articles published in Gold OA journals. (Source: Sherpa)


Green Open Access (Green OA)

In Green OA, Open Access takes place at the repository level, with journal policy allowing authors to archive pre-print and post-print versions of their articles. (Source: Sherpa) Contrast with Gold OA where journals provide Open Access to articles at the moment of publication.


Hybrid journal

Some traditional journals offer an option for authors to make their individual articles freely accessible to anyone worldwide, for an additional fee. Other articles in the journal remain accessible only through subscription. (Source: Scholarly Publishing at MIT Libraries –


Impact factor

The average number of times articles from a scholarly journal published in the past two years have been cited in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). (Source: ULS – pitt.libguides, Citation Searching and Bibliometric Measures).   Also, more generally, any estimate or statistics derived from citations that indicate the importance or popularity of a [...]


Industrial property

Intellectual property that includes inventions, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source. (Source: NDLTD).


Institutional repository

An online database or archive that provides access to digital collections, such as electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), preprints, or faculty scholarship, and provides associated metadata regarding the documents. Also, a digital repository designed to collect the intellectual output of a particular institution or university. (Source: NDLTD)


Intellectual property

Property (such as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect; also an application, right, or registration relating to this. (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)   Intellectual property may include inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. Intellectual [...]



A graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., often uniquely designed for ready recognition. (Source:



A handwritten document, an unpublished document, or an author’s draft of a book, article, or other work submitted for publication. (Source: Society of American Archivists glossary)



Data about data, i.e., information (or data) that describes and provides information about other data. Metadata is used to describe and provide access to information resources, especially Internet sites, electronic documents, and digital objects. (Source: LibrarySpeak)


Metadata harvesting


National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy

 The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive, PubMed Central. The Policy requires that these final peer-reviewed manuscripts be accessible to the [...]


Open Access (OA)

Describes a family of copyright licensing policies under which copyright owners make their works available publicly, without access being limited to subscribers or purchasers of the material, and typically in online databases. Disseminating information or publishing under Open Access principles means that access to the results of research is provided [...]


Open Archives Initiative (OAI)

Supplies a common framework to web communities that allows them to gain access to content in a standard manner by means of metadata harvesting. (Source: DOAJ)


Open data

Data that is free for anyone to use, reuse, and redistribute, subject only to (at most) the requirement to attribute and share-alike. (Source:


Open Source

A social movement, begun by computer programmers, that rejects secrecy and centralized control of creative work in favor of decentralization, transparency, and unrestricted (“open”) sharing of information. Source refers to the human-readable source code of computer programs, as opposed to the compiled computer programming language instructions, or object code, that [...]



A project to list and categorize academic Open Access digital repositories. The aim is to provide a comprehensive and authoritative list of such repositories for users who wish to find particular archives or who wish to break down repositories by locale, content, or other measures. (Source: OpenDOAR)



The exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years; the official document conferring this right or privilege. (Source:; Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


Peer review

Also known as “refereed,” peer review is the process by which scholars in a relevant field read and evaluate papers submitted to a journal. (Source: SPARC) Peer review is employed by a profession or discipline in order to maintain standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, peer review is often [...]



Post-prints are post-publication reproductions or copies of articles that may or may not differ in appearance from the published article. Publishers often reserve for published articles their own arrangement of typesetting and formatting. Thus, often authors cannot use the publisher-generated PDF file, but must make their own PDF version for submission to a digital or [...]



In the context of Open Access, a pre-print is a draft of an academic article or other publication before it has been submitted for peer review or other quality assurance procedures as part of the publication process. Initial and successive drafts of articles, working papers, or draft conference papers constitute pre-prints [...]


Public display

A display of a work before a group larger than a family or small group of friends or in a place open to the public. (Source: Complete Copyright)


Public domain

The realm of works not protected by copyright. (Source: Complete Copyright)


Public performance

Performance before a group larger than a family or small group of friends or in a place open to the public. (Source: Complete Copyright)   According to the U.S. copyright law (Title 17, United States Code, Section 110), a public performance is any screening of a videocassette, DVD, videodisc, or [...]


Public performance license (Public performance rights)

Any time you plan to show a film to the public—irrespective of the film’s format or whether or not you are charging admission—you must first seek permission to do so from the film’s copyright holder(s). This permission comes in the form of a license from the rights holder called a [...]


PubMed Central


Quality control

In journal publishing, quality control refers to the peer-review process or other means of exerting editorial quality and validty of research articles. (Source: DOAJ)


Scholarly articles

Articles that describe the fruits of research and that authors give to the world for the sake of inquiry and knowledge without expectation of payment. Such articles are typically presented in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and conference proceedings. (Resource: Scholarly Publishing @ MIT Libraries)


Scholarly communication

The creation, transformation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge related to teaching, research, and scholarly endeavors; the process of academics, scholars and researchers sharing and publishing their research findings so that they are available to the wider academic community. (Source: Wikipedia)   Traditionally, scholarly communication has been done through publishing in [...]


Scholarly journal

A journal that reports primary results of research or overviews of research results to a scholarly community. (Source: Directory of Open Access Journals)


Service mark

A distinctive sign which identifies certain products or services as those produced or provided by a specific person, enterprise or a group of persons/enterprises allowing the consumer to distinguish them from goods or services of others. (Source: WIPO)


Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998

An amendment to the U.S. Copyright Law that extended the term of copyright protection by twenty years (Source: Complete Copyright). This means that the term of copyright extends to the life of the author plus 70 years for individual authors and 95 years for corporate “creators.” The amendement applies to [...]


TEACH Act (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act)

TEACH redefines the terms and conditions on which accredited, nonprofit educational institutions throughout the U.S. may use copyright protected materials in distance education – including on websites and by other digital means – without permission from the copyright owner and without payment of royalties. (Source: ALA)



A form of intellectual property that protects logos, slogans, and other marks associated with a particular product. (Source: Complete Copyright)