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SNHU Academic Archive

The SNHU Academic Archive is an institutional repository, or digital library, providing free access to faculty and student research and other university resources. Learn more about its policies and use.

Glossary of Institutional Repository Terms

Abstract – A statement summarizing the important points of a text.

Archiving – Preserves the scholarly record over time.

Born-Digital – An item is born–digital if it has been generated entirely electronically.

Distribution License – Depositors are all required to agree to the distribution license before submitting any material.

Digital Preservation – The process of ensuring a digital object is accessible over the long term.

Eprint – Any version of a work available online which has been either submitted for formal publication or has been accepted after formal review. The term encompasses both preprint and postprint.

ETD – An Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Although it can be used to mean any thesis represented electronically, it is especially intended for born-digital theses.

Handle – A persistent URL that points to an item.

Institutional Repository – A type of digital repository designed to collect the work of a particular institution. The SNHU Academic Archive is the institutional repository for Southern New Hamsphire University.
The widely accepted formal definition is:
"...a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long–term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution."
– Clifford Lynch, Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age.

Keywords – Search terms or phrases relating to the item/body of work.

Metadata – Data that describes other data. For items in open access repositories, this usually consists of a full bibliographic reference, abstract, keywords, and similar information.

OAI (Open Archives Initiative) – The OAI develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. Its major contribution is the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), a set of guidelines that enable repositories to expose the metadata describing their content to service providers who harvest the metadata into large aggregations (see OpenDOAR). Intended to expose the work deposited in repositories to the widest possible audience and ensure the interoperability of repositories. Note: do not confuse OAI with OA (open access).

Open Access – The scholarly communication reform movement 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. The Open Access movement aims at improving the dissemination of scientific information. "Open–access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions."  More information about open access in the United States can also be found from the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Sources Coalition (SPARC):​

OpenDOAR – The Directory of Open Access Repositories. Allows users to search for specific repositories, or search within the contents of all the repositories in the directory.

Postprints – A scholarly article in its final form, after it has gone through the peer review/refereeing process. Publishers often distinguish between pre- and post-prints in their policies on self-archiving articles. Postprints are not the PDFs produced by the publishers, but may be a Word document or PDF produced by the author. Since additional changes may occur during the proofing process, postprints are not considered "the version of record" and thus are of lesser value than the published version of an article. See also the Sherpa definition.

Preprints – Documents in pre–publication status, such as a draft or version of an article, that have not yet been published, but may have been reviewed and accepted; submitted but with no publication decision; or intended for publication and being circulated for comment.

Published version – The form of the postprint that is copy-edited and formatted as it appears in the journal.

Self–archiving – Placing a copy of your work in a digital repository.

SHERPA/RoMEO – Database of the copyright transfer policies of academic publishers and their journals. Use this site to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. Searchable by publisher name or journal title.

Working Paper – A working paper is often a record of a project's research activities or interim findings.

Most of the terms and definitions in this glossary were provided by The University of Melbourne,