Our quick A-Z glossary provides you with the definitions of key publishing terms you’re likely to come across while you move through each step of your research publishing journey.
Understanding these key definitions will help you make important decisions about your publication. You’ll also be able to gain further understanding about the wider academic publishing landscape.
An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, thesis, review, conference proceeding, or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the article’s purpose.
The Altmetric Attention Score is a weighted count of all of the online attention Altmetric have found for an individual research output. This includes mentions in public policy documents and references in Wikipedia, the mainstream news, social networks, blogs and more.
Article publishing charge (APC) waivers and discounts are available to authors with primary affiliations in countries defined by the World Bank as Low-Income and Lower-Middle-Income Economies, who wish to to publish in full open access journals.
Article transfer is when a publisher offers you the option to ‘transfer’ your article submission to another of their journals. This usually occurs when your manuscript isn’t the right fit for the journal you originally submitted to.
The Attribution-Noncommercial license permits others to remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
‘Authorship for sale’ is an unethical practice where authors have ‘sold’ an author spot on a paper, or where a researcher has ‘bought’ an authorship spot on a paper. This is considered to be a form of misconduct.
A competing interest, also known as a ‘conflict of interest’, can occur when you (or your employer or sponsor) have a financial, commercial, legal, or professional relationship with other organizations, or with the people working with them, that could influence your research.
A cover letter is often needed when you submit your article to a journal. The cover letter should explain why your work is a good fit for the journal and why it will be of interest to the journal’s readers.
A Creative Commons license is applied when you publish your research open access. You can choose which license you’d like to apply and what you’re happy to allow other people to do with your article once it’s published.
A data availability statement (also sometimes called a ‘data access statement’) tells the reader where the research data associated with a paper is available, and under what conditions the data can be accessed. They also include links (where applicable) to the data set.
The editorial board of a journal (sometimes known as an advisory board) typically consists of a group of prominent people in the journal’s field. Their day-to-day role with the journal may vary, but the board will usually dictate the tone and direction the publication’s editorial policy will take. They will also regularly review manuscripts submitted to the journal.
Every journal has its own set of policies and procedures. These can cover everything from how they conduct peer review, the process for submitting your article, to the ethical standards required of any research submitted.
In addition to the journal’s own policies, the journal may also be subject to the editorial policies of the publishing group.
The embargo period is the time period that must pass after publication before a researcher can make the accepted version of their article openly available in a repository, in the green open access model.
An eprint is a free online link to an article. All named authors who publish in a subscription-based Taylor & Francis or Routledge journal will be sent an eprint link, each of which can be used 50 times to give others access to their article.
“Ethics dumping” is a form of misconduct where researchers leading a study deliberately set up collaborations in regions where participant recruitment and process for ethical approval are designed with the intention of circumventing international standards of research ethics.
F1000Research is an open research publishing platform for scientists, scholars, and clinicians offering rapid publication of articles and other research outputs without editorial bias. F1000 is part of the Taylor & Francis publishing group.
Format-free submission allows authors to submit their work without spending time on formatting it for a specific journal. The only requirements are that a consistent citation format is used and everything necessary for review is included.
A funder mandate (or requirement) is a policy from a research funder relating to how the associated research output is published. A growing number of research funders now have policies requiring you to make your published work and associated data available through an open access route.
A free access article is an article in a subscription journal which is available for non-subscribers to read. Unlike open access articles, which are permanently available, a free access article may only be freely available for a set period of time.
Full open access journal
A full open access journal is one where every article in the journal is published via gold open access. This means that anyone, anywhere can read the article for free.
Hybrid journals publish both open access articles that are always accessible to everybody, and articles that are usually only available to subscribers. Taylor & Francis hybrid journals are called ‘Open Select’.
The Impact Factor is one of the metrics used to assess a journal. Released annually based on Web of Science Journal Citation Reports®, only journals in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) can have an Impact Factor.
Indexing is the process of ensuring journals and their contents are listed in online databases like Google Scholar, PubMed, etc. This ensures that the research published in the journal is easily discoverable.
Instructions for authors (IFAs)
The instructions for authors are an individual set of requirements for a journal They include all the information authors will need to complete their submission.
The digital platform an institution uses to host and preserve scholarly outputs, such as articles, books, or reports. If you’re based at a research institution, you may be required to deposit a version of your article in their repository. This is known as green open access.
A journal suggester is a tool to help you narrow down your options when choosing a journal to submit to. The Taylor & Francis Journal Suggester reviews your abstract and matches it with suitable titles. A journal suggester can also be referred to as a journal selector.
Mega journals publish a broad variety of research without judging the perceived importance of it. Instead, they look purely at the soundness of the research. Well-known mega journals include PLOS ONE, Scientific Reports, and PeerJ.
Mosaic plagiarism (patchwork plagiarism)
Mosaic plagiarism is when text is lifted from a few different sources (which may include the author’s previous work) and put into a manuscript to create the impression of new text. Read the Taylor & Francis Plagiarism Policy.
Open access (OA) is a publishing option to make your work freely and permanently available online. With this option, anyone anywhere can read and build upon it. There is usually an article publishing charge associated with this publishing route.
Open Select is the term we use at Taylor & Francis for our hybrid journals. Open Select titles publish both open access articles that are always accessible to everybody, and articles that are usually only available to subscribers.
An ORCiD is a digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher. It ensures you and your research activities can easily be identified, meaning you get the credit for all the work you do.
Peer review is the evaluation of research by one or more experts in the field of the research. The peer review system exists to validate academic work, evaluate the quality of a paper, and check its suitability for publication.
The peer review policy/model will often vary between journals, even those from the same publisher. It’s important to make sure you understand and agree with the peer review model used by a journal before you submit.
In post-publication peer review, your paper will be published and then invited reviewers, or even readers, will add their own comments or reviews. Another form of peer review may happen before publication.
The registered reports process splits peer review into two parts. The first round of peer review takes place after you’ve designed your study but before you’ve collected or analyzed any data. The second round takes place once the study is complete.
The Scimago Journal Rank aims to capture the effect of subject field, quality, and reputation of a journal on citations. It calculates the prestige of a journal by considering the value of the sources that cite it, rather than counting all citations equally.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a piece of web content so that it can easily be found on search engines. For research articles, it’s important to apply SEO so that they appear for relevant searches on search engines like Google or Google Scholar.
Standards of reporting encourage researchers to provide comprehensive descriptions of their research rationale, protocol, methodology, and analysis. This means research is communicated in a way that supports verification and reproducibility.
Special Terms for Authors & Researchers (STAR) is a unique Taylor & Francis initiative developed to provide authors and researchers in the global south with free access to articles from our leading international and regional journals, across subject areas.
A publishing route by which your article is available to readers who have access to a subscription for the journal or have paid to access the article individually.
There are no article publishing charges associated with this publishing option (except in some cases where small charges may be made for reproducing figures or images in color, in the print version of a journal).
Supplementary material is relevant material that is submitted in addition to the main article. It can be anything from tables to presentations, to video and audio files.
Transformative agreements (sometimes called ‘read & publish’ agreements) are made between libraries or consortia, and publishers. The agreements include the prepayment of article publishing charges alongside subscriptions to journal titles or collections. They allow affiliated authors to make the final version of their article gold open access as well as providing access to subscription content for the library users.
A video abstract is a short recorded video in which you can introduce researchers to your article in your own words. Video abstracts are an increasingly popular way of getting readers to engage with your research.