Open Access (OA) = Accesso aperto The movement among scholars 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.”

Open data - making data freely available on the public internet permitting any user to download, copy, analyse, re-process, pass them to software or use them for any other purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. One of the most important forms of open data is open government data (OGD), which is a form of open data created by ruling government institutions. 

Open Educational Resources (OER) - high quality, openly licensed, online educational materials for sharing, use, and reuse. They act as a mechanism for instructional innovation as networks of teachers and learners share best practices. .

Open Source Software (OSS) - availability of source code for a piece of software, along with an open source license permitting reuse, adaptation, and further distribution.

FAIR data are data which meet principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability. The FAIR principles emphasise machine-actionability (i.e., the capacity of computational systems to find, access, interoperate, and reuse data with none or minimal human intervention) because humans increasingly rely on computational support to deal with data as a result of the increase in volume, complexity, and creation speed of data.

Data management: The policies, procedures, and technical choices used to handle data through its entire lifecycle from data collection to storage, preservation and use. A data management policy should take account of the needs of data quality, availability, data protection, data preservation, etc.

Big Data: A phenomenon resulting from 3 factors, commonly referred to as the '3 Vs' (Volume, Variety and Velocity), describing the fact that traditional data-handling and analysing technologies are increasingly challenged by the growth in: volume of data collected and stored, the variety of these data in terms of structure and formats and the velocity.

Anonymisation = anonimizzazione: Processing data that includes personal information so that individuals can no longer be identified in the resulting data. Anonymisation enables data to be published without breaching data protection principles. The principal techniques are aggregation (aggregazione) and de-identification (de-identificazione). Care must be taken to avoid data leakage that would result in individuals’ privacy being compromised.

Institutional Repository = archivio digitale istituzionale An online database designed to collect the intellectual output of a particular institution or university, including digital collections such as electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), pre-prints, or faculty scholarship, and presents associated metadata regarding the these items. 

Reproducibility - the similarity between results of a study or experiment and independent results obtained with the same methods but under different conditions (i.e., pertains to results).

Repeatability - the similarity between results of a study or experiment and independent results obtained with the same methods and under identical conditions (i.e., pertains to methods and analysis).

Curation - the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of [digital] assets. Curation establishes, maintains, and adds value to repositories of digital data for present and future use.

Derivative work - A work based upon one or more pre-existing 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


Intellectual property (IP) = Proprietà intellettuale a legal term that refers to creations of the mind. Examples of intellectual property include music, literature, and other artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and phrases, symbols, and designs.

Intellectual Property Rights IPR) - the rights given to the owners of intellectual property. IPR is protected either automatically (eg copyright, design rights) or by registering or applying for it (eg trademarks, patents). Protecting your intellectual property makes it easier to take legal action against anyone who steals or copies it. IPR can be legally sold, assigned or licenced by the creator to other parties, or joint-owned.

Copyright = diritti d'autore The aspect of Intellectual property that gives creators the right to permit (or not permit) what happens to their creations, as opposed to trademark rights or moral rights.

Copyleft - a form of licensing that makes a creative work freely available to be modified, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the creative work to be free as well. Open Access does not require works to be copyleft, nor does it necessarily exclude copyleft works from being open access. The recommended licence (CC-BY) for academic publishing is not copyleft. 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) = Regolamento Generale sulla Protezione dei dati is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The GDPR's primary aim is to give control to individuals over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.


Pre-print (or preprint) = manoscritto non referato: Version submitted to journal (pre-refereeing); also called the "submitted manuscript" or "submitted version" o "non-refereed  author's manuscript".

Post-print (or postprint) = manoscritto referato: Author’s final version, post-refereeing, without publisher’s formatting; also called the "refereed author's manuscript'", "accepted manuscript" or "final accepted version".

Final version = versione editoriale: as it appears in journal; also called the "version of record,” the "publisher's version," or the "PDF version" (the latter is a misnomer).

Full-text: - A complete electronic copy of a resource, usually an article, viewed on a computer display screen. The term "full-text" is often used to refer to the electronic version of an article or book that is also published in print.

Eprint - a digital version of a research document available online for a repository.


Green OA - occurs when the publisher of a subscription journal allows the author to keep the non-commercial rights to his/her article so it can be posted in open internet archives. Archives may be institutional repositories such as IRIS or discipline-specific archives maintained by scholarly associations. In some cases, the publisher requires that open access in the archives be delayed for 6 to 12 months.

Gold OA - refers to journals in which all articles and content are open access — available to anyone on the internet without any subscription fees or sign-in.  These journals are either supported by their organizations or funded by fees charged to the author or institution to cover organization, review, formatting and archiving expenses.

Diamond / platinum OA - is a not-for-profit publishing practice that is an upgrade from the Gold model of publishing policy. The model of Diamond Open Access  functions upon the contributions of the members of a not-for-profit organization. It is a model that is meant to make possible the free-of-cost dissemination of academic knowledge among readers. Under this model of publishing, the content is fully available to readers free of cost and there is also no cost for publishing.

Bronze OA - articles are free to read on the publisher page, but lack a clearly identifiable license.[15] Such articles may not be available for reuse

Hybrid OA – focuses on who will pay the cost of publishing Open Access materials and place the cost burden on the author, the institution, the library, or a combination by means of subscription credits, debits, or direct author payments.

Black OA - the growth of unauthorized digital copying by large-scale copyright infringement has enabled free access to paywalled literature.

Gratis OA - the paper is available to read free-of-charge, though its reuse is still restricted, for example by ‘All Rights Reserved’ copyright. 

Libre OA - the paper is made available under an open licence, allowing it to be shared and reused, depending on which licence is used. Libre and Gratis refer to copyright and licensing restrictions.


Creative Commons - A suite of licences that set out the rights of authors and users, providing alternatives to the standard copyright. CC licences are widely used, simple to state, machine readable and have been created by legal experts. There are a variety of CC licences, each of which use one or more clauses.  

CC Attribution (BY) = attribuzione a licence clause that allows the reuse, sharing, and remixing of materials providing the original author is appropriately attributed. Aside from attribution the CC-BY licence has no other restrictions on copying. 

CC NonCommercial (NC) = non commerciale a licence clause allowing the reuse, sharing, and remixing of materials providing that it is for non-commercial purposes. 

CC NoDerivatives (ND) = non opere derivate a licence clause requiring that derivatives are not made of the original works. 

CC ShareAlike (SA) = condividi allo stesso modo a licence clause requiring that derivative works have the same licence as the original. 

CC 0 - waiver of copyright; no rights reserved. Places content as openly as possible in the public domain. 

BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) - A family of UNIX-like operating systems. 

GNU GPL (General Public License) - A free copyleft license for software and other kinds of works. 

Apache License -A free software license by the Apache Software Foundation. 

MIT License - An open and permissive software license. 

Author Addendum - An author addendum is a supplemental or added agreement to a publishing contract that defines or changes the terms of the contract, often focusing on the transfer of copyright ownership. 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 articles online to a personal website or in a digital repository; the right to use their works within a classroom setting; or the right to use their works as the foundation for future research. 


Library-based publishing - Many academic libraries are now beginning to act as publishers for scholarly works produced in their institutions and elsewhere. In some cases, the library works with the university scholarly press to publish works. In other cases, the library publishes works independently or separately from the academic press. 

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. Such journals are known as "hybrid journals.

Liquid Books
experimental digital books published under the conditions of both open editing and free content. Users are allowed to annotate,
tag, edit, add to, remix, reformat, reversion, reinvent and reuse any of the books.


Scholarly peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal, conference proceedings or as a book. The peer review helps the publisher (that is, the editor-in-chief, the editorial board or the program committee) decide whether the work should be accepted, considered acceptable with revisions, or rejected.

Blind peer review - the authors do not know who the reviewers are. The reviewers know who the authors are. In double-blind peer review, neither authors nor reviewers know each other's names.

Open peer review = revisione aperta tra pari is the various possible modifications of the traditional scholarly peer review process. The three most common modifications to which the term is applied are: Open identities: Authors and reviewers are aware of each other's identity.Open reports: Review reports are published alongside the relevant article (rather than being kept confidential). Open participation: The wider community (and not just invited reviewers) are able to contribute to the review process.


Transformative contract - seeks to shift the contracted payment from a library or group of libraries to a publisher away from subscription-based reading and towards open access publishing. Principles for transformative agreements typically include a number of components that are related to the transition from subscription-based reading to contractually-based publishing (costs, copyrights, transparency, transitional).  Transformative contracts are predicated on an end state in which subscription-based reading payments cease to exist.

Read-and-Publish agreement is an agreement in which the publisher receives payment for reading and payment for publishing bundled into a single contract.Publish-and-Read agreement is an agreement in which the publisher receives payment only for publishing and reading is included for no additional cost.

Paywall - restriction via a financial barrier to research, often implemented by legacy publishers. Can be removed by personal or institutional subscription. See Loginwall for a barrier that prevents access, without asking for money to unlock access.

Embargo period - a length of time imposed on a research output for users who have not paid for access, or do not have institutional access, before it is made freely available.

Embargo: a period (in general 6 to 12 months) during which a document, deposited in a repository, is not freely accessible. Most often, this is the result of a compromise between the institute, mandating a deposit, and the publisher.

Article Processing Charge (APC) Book Processing Charge (BPC)- a fee charged to the author, creator, or institution to cover the cost of an article/book, rather than charging the potential reader of the article/book. APCs may apply to both commercial and Open Access publications. APCs are sometimes charged to authors in order to cover the cost of publishing and disseminating an article in an Open Access scholarly journ


Altmetrics = metrica alternativa are alternative ways of recording and measuring the use and impact of scholarship. Rather than solely counting 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.), document downloads, links to publishing and unpublished research, and other uses of research literature, in order to provide a more comprehensive measurement of scholarships reach and impact. 

Article-level metrics - all types of article-level metrics including download and usage statistics, citations, and article-level altmetrics.

Bibliometrics - is the branch of library and information science concerned with the application of mathematical and statistical analysis to bibliography. Bibliometrics involves the statistical analysis of books, articles, or other publications.

Impact factor - a numerical measure that indicates the average number of citations to articles published over the previous two years in a journal, and frequently used as a proxy for a journal's relative importance.

H-index - a personal metric that relates the number of citations to the number of published papers for an academic.

Journal level metrics - metrics that apply to all papers published within a journal. A common example is Thomson Reuters’ journal impact factor.

Citation: References to other publications are called ‘citations’. A citation is used to measure the impact of an article (the more an article is cited, the higher its impact), and the sum of all citations is used to calculate impact factors. 


Machine readable - data or metadata in a format that can be understood by a computer.

Text and Data Mining (TDM) - Automated research technique in the digital environment for the purpose of discovering and extracting knowledge from unstructured data. Via keyword searches, lexical analysis tools and mining algorithms, text- and data mining enables researchers to structure the content of scientific (numerical) databases or written publications after their preferences and for their own research purposes. It allows also for retrieving and extracting relevant information and automatically gaining structured results without having to browse each and every scientific work found in a simple keyword search. It is growingly applied in many different areas, from market and business intelligence to science and engineering (bioinformatics, genomics, medicine, education).

Content mining - large-scale extraction of information from content (e.g., photographs,videos, audio, metadata), usually involving thousands of items. 

Cloud computing: Model for enabling convenient on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Users do not need to invest in their own infrastructures. Storage and processing takes place in the cloud rather than at the user's premises or on the user's devices.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) = identificatore di oggetto digitale a unique text string that is used to identify digital objects such as journal articles or open source software releases. 

Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) - a string of characters used to identify a name of a resource to enable its digital and networked representation and interaction. 

GitHub - a web-based service that provides a source code repository that works exclusively with the Git command-line tool. 

Eprints - a software for open digital repositories to self-archiving launched by Southampton University in 2000. 

ORCID - a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes individual researchers. 

Publish or Perish - software for retrieving and analysing academic citations. 

Open lab notebooks - a concept of blogging about research on a regular basis, such that research notes and data are accumulated and published online as soon as they are obtained.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) - The unique address for a Web page which is used in citing it. A URL consists of the access protocol (http), the domain name (, and often the path to a file or resource residing on that server.

Service provider: collect the metadata from one or several data providers, and reorganises them to create (an) added value(s).

Repository: a repository is a digital archive that is used to collect and preserve information, such as publications and data. 
An Institutional repository collects the research output of scientific institutions and depositing is only possible for researchers affiliated with the institution; subject repositories (or: disciplinary repository) collect the research output of one or several scientific fields; Data repositories are specialized in collecting and preserving data. 

Proxy server - An Internet server that acts as a “go-between” for a computer on a local network (secure system) and the open Web. Often checks to determine “right of access” to the secure environment and speeds up requests by caching frequently accessed Web pages. 

Shibboleth - a single sign-in system for computer networks and services on the open Internet.


SHERPA/Romeo Find publishers' copyright and self-archiving policies

ROAR Registry of Open Access Repositories

OPENDOAR Directory of Open Access Repositories 

DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals

DOAB Directory of Open Access Books 

BEALL'S LIST predatory publishers&journals


We made use of these sources to compile this glossary: