Open Science Definitions

Article processing charge (APC)

An article processing charge (APC), also known as a publication fee, is a fee which is charged to authors. This is the fee charged to authors for making the article open access, in either a full (gold) Open Access journal or in a hybrid journal [1].

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Digital Object Identifier is a unique and never-changing string assigned to publications, datasets, and other works (adapted from [2]). DOIs can be any entity — physical, digital or abstract — that you wish to identify, primarily for sharing with an interested user community or managing as intellectual property [3]. You may find DOIs formatted in various ways:

FAIR data

FAIR data are data which meet principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability. [4][5] The acronym and principles were defined in a March 2016 paper in the journal Scientific Data by a consortium of scientists and organizations. [4][5]

There are several guides Guides for Researchers showing them how to make your data FAIR. [6]

Open Access (OA)

Open Access (OA) usually talks about scientific literature (publications) which are digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions [7][8]. Most Open Access publications are peer-reviewed.

Gold Open Access

In the gold OA model, the publisher makes all articles and related content available for free immediately on the journal's website. The majority of gold open access journals which charge APCs are said to follow an "author-pays" model, although this is not an intrinsic property of gold OA. [8]

Green Open Access

Also known as “Self-archiving by authors”, is the action of taking your

last-approved-version of your accepted manuscript and putting it on (in the case of the Neuro) the McGill eRepository [9]. This is independent of the publication on the publisher’s web-site. The author posts the work to a website controlled by the author, where people can download the work without paying. [8][9]

Hybrid OA, Bronze OA, Diamond/platinum OA and Black OA

Description of all other types of Open Access are also described on the Open Access Wikipedia page [8].


ORCID is a persistent digital identifier (an ORCID iD) that you own and control, and that distinguishes you from every other researcher. They are available from [10]


A persistent identifier (PI or PID) is a long-lasting reference to a document, file, web page, or other object [16]. The term "persistent identifier" is usually used in the context of digital objects that are accessible over the Internet. Typically, such an identifier is not only persistent but actionable:[1] you can plug it into a web browser and be taken to the identified source.

Persistent identifiers are often created within institutionally administered systems. Some examples of PIDs are described in this document:


Preprints are work in progress that has been submitted to one of many Preprint servers. They are often the draft of a manuscript before it is just sent to a journal for publication consideration. The preprint may be available, often as a non-typeset version available free, before or after a paper is published in a journal. [11]

Preprint servers

Web portal that supports the submission and redistribution of preprints. Many servers are domain specific, but a number are also multidisciplinary.

  • arXiv multidisciplinary
  • BioRxiv biology
  • MedRxiv health sciences
  • PsyArXiv psychological sciences

A detailed list (with links) to many preprint servers is available from Wikipedia [12].


PubMed is a free resource supporting the search and retrieval of biomedical and life sciences literature. It can be found here: PubMed [13]


The PMID is the PubMed IDentifier, it is a unique identifier assigned by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, at the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health (NCBI/NLM/NIH).

If you look at your article, you can find it here on the PubMed server, the PMID is in the red box:

PubMed Central (PMC)

PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM). It can be found here: Home - PMC - NCBI [14][15]


The PMCID is a unique reference number or identifier, different then the PMID, that is assigned to every article that is accepted into PMC. [15]




The Neuro logo McGill logoMcGill University Health Centre logoKillam Laureates


The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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