Policy Bücher

Within PUBLISSO - Living Handbooks, peer-reviewed handbooks from different areas of life sciences are published. The subject-specific books edited by a scientific community publish comprehensive guidelines and audio-visual media to illustrate the treated subject.

Quality control is assured by the editorial board. For the submissions and peer review processes, PUBLISSO provides an online manuscript management system. There are special requirements for submitted manuscripts described in the respective book’s manuscript guidelines.

PUBLISSO - Living Handbooks are published on following terms:

PUBLISSO is open for launching new Living Handbooks. Contact us.

Aims and responsibilities
Peer Review
Technical maintenance, long-term availability and security
Indexing and coverage by databases
Financing and funding
Open access
Data protection and liability
Competing Interests
Human and Animal Rights
Informed Consent
Author’s contract

Aims and responsibilities

The portal PUBLISSO - Living Handbooks is the interdisciplinary portal of the German National Library of Medicine ZB MED - Information Centre for Life Sciences. Developed in cooperation with the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF) it offers open access to peer-reviewed life sciences handbooks. All scientists from the field of life sciences are invited to publish their handbook with all aspects concerning basics, methods, practical examples, incl. audio-visual media for i.e. visualizing procedures, presenting results.

Within the bounds of its technical and organizational possibilities, PUBLISSO ensures:

  • Sustainable and open access to the publications
  • Citeability via persistent identifiers (DOI)
  • Dissemination of the publications via national and international databases
  • Support and help desk for editors, authors, reviewers
  • Copy editing and editing of figures and tables
  • Handling of supplementary material and research data
  • Marketing support: flyer model; presentation at conferences and on social media.

Peer Review

All handbook’s chapters undergo thorough peer review. This usually involves review by two independent peer reviewers.

All submissions to PUBLISSO – Living Handbooks are assessed by an editor, who will decide whether they are suitable for peer review. Submissions felt to be suitable for consideration will be sent for peer review to appropriate experts. Editors will make a decision based on the reviewers’ assessments and will communicate this decision to the authors along with the reviewers’ reports.

The editors will treat all submitted manuscripts in confidence. Reviewers are also required to treat manuscripts confidentially.

Organization and operation of the peer review processes are the responsibility of the editorial boards. The individual Living Handbooks differ in their peer review processes, refer to the respective handbook’s pages for further information.

Technical maintenance, long-term availability and security

ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Science is the technical provider of the platform PUBLISSO Books, which is operated with the content management system Drupal. The permanent and free accessibility of the documents is intended. Subject to a general change of the preconditions of the services of ZBMED, the minimum period of accessibility is five years. In justified cases, access can be restricted locally (e. g. restriction or exclusion of IP ranges) or temporarily. A strategy for distributed digital long-term archiving of the PUBLISSO Books contents is currently being developed in a national context. ZB MED is also connected to international initiatives in the field of long-term archiving. Each document receives distinct persistent identifiers (DOI - Digital Object Identifier) in order to make permanent and location-independent referencing possible. Alterations to a document will be visibly documented by different versions.

Indexing and coverage by databases

The documents are recorded bibliographically by structured metadata in XML format according to the Dublin Core standard. They are published within the PUBLISSO portal at

The documents will be covered by several national and international databases and search engines, e. g. LIVIVO.

Financing and funding

The - moderate - costs are covered by the editors of the respective Living Handbook, e. g. by acquiring sponsors for the project (deducting of tax in several countries). Companies can join as sustaining members. The logos of these companies can be found at the website at a common banner under “Sustaining members”.

Open access

Publications within the PUBLISSO portal are published open access, in general under a Creative Commons license ( can be shared - copied and redistributed in any medium or format -, under the following terms: You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

In general, Publications within the PUBLISSO portal are published under the Creative Commons license CC-BY 4.0 ( They can be shared under the terms named above AND adapted - remixed, transformed, and built upon the material - for any purpose, even commercially.

As originator of the work, the author retains the copyright. He only transfers the basic, non-exclusive right to online publication and to electronic storage in databases. For more information, please read the author's contract (see below).

Open access means free online access for interested readers, it neither rules out printouts by the users nor printed archives for back-ups or permanent storage.

Data protection and liability

Please read the PUBLISSO Privacy Policy and the Disclaimer of Liability.

Competing Interests

PUBLISSO requires authors to declare all competing interests in relation to their work. All submitted manuscripts must include a competing interests section listing all competing interests (financial and non-financial) or declaring that there are no competing interests.

Competing interests may be financial or non-financial. A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations.

Financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):

  • Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the article, either now or in the future
  • Holding stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the article, either now or in the future
  • Holding, or currently applying for, patents relating to the content of the manuscript
  • Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript.

Non-financial competing interests include (but are not limited to) political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, and intellectual competing interests.

Authors from commercial organizations that are involved in research, should declare this relation as competing interest.

Human and Animal Rights

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework.

All manuscripts resulting from research involving animals must clearly explain test procedures performed with animals giving no cause for ethical complaints.

Informed Consent

For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.
For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to individual participants, written informed consent for the publication of these must be obtained from the participants and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. In cases where images are entirely unidentifiable and there are no details on individuals reported within the manuscript, consent for publication of images may not be required. The final decision on whether consent to publish is required lies with the editor.

Author’s contract

§ 1 Subject matter of the contract

  1. The subject of this contract is the submitted work of the author.
  2. The author ensures, that he alone is authorized to dispose over the rights of use on his work promoted by copyright. He further ensures, that he made no legal concessions that oppose to the provisions of this contract. This also applies to the standard texts or master illustrations supplied by the author and whose rights of use he holds. If he offers ZB MED standard texts or master illustrations for which this does not apply, or where it is uncertain if this applies, then he has to inform ZB MED about it and about all recognizable legally relevant facts known to him.
  3. The author is obligated to point out to ZB MED in writing if the work includes interpretations from persons or incidents with which the risk of an infringement of personal rights is connected. He ensures immediate notification of ZB MED in case of doubt or of alleged or actual legal hindrances.
  4. The author shall indemnify and hold the Licensee ZB MED harmless from and against any loss, damage, costs, liability and expenses (including reasonable legal and professional fees) arising out of any legal action taken claiming actual or alleged infringement of such rights. This indemnity shall survive the termination of this contract for any reason. This indemnity shall not apply if ZB MED has amended the submitted work in any way not permitted by this contract.

§ 2 Rights and obligations

  1. The author transfers to ZB MED the non-exclusive basic right of duplication and circulation of machine-readable data media and their safeguard media.
  2. The author transfers to ZB MED the right to electronically store the work in databases and web pages, to make the work available to the public. This also comprises the right to notify and transfer the work to third parties e.g., within the framework of national collection mandates, including, but not limited to, the purpose of long-term archiving.
  3. The author transfers to ZB MED the non-exclusive right to conduct a print production of the work.
  4. The author transfers to ZB MED the right to copy and to convert the work for archiving purposes into additional, different electronic or physical formats. When doing so, impairments, which are suitable to endanger the content’s integrity or the intellectual and personal rights of the author on the work, are to be omitted.
  5. The work will first appear exclusively in electronic form. ZB MED is obligated to circulate the work in the form specified in section 1.

§ 3 Fees

  1. The author does not receive a fee for his work.

§ 4 Author designation, copyright-note

  1. ZB MED is obligated to appropriately identify the author as originator of the work.
  2. ZB MED is obligated to attach the copyright note with the publication of the work in the sense of the Universal Copyright Convention.
  3. The author agrees that ZB MED publishes the work under a Creative Commons license. That means that anyone can copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, provided the original work is appropriately credited. The author agrees to publication under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, except another Creative Commons license is explicitly stated for a book. ZB MED is obligated to attach a note about the Creative Commons license upon publication of the work.

§ 5 Final clauses

  1. This agreement is concluded for an indefinite period. Possible successors enter into the respective rights and obligations of the parties. In case of a change of a contractual party, the other party has the right to terminate the contract immediately.
  2. If not regulated by this contract, the general legal provisions of law of the Federal Republic of Germany apply. The invalidity or inefficacy of individual regulations of this contract does not affect the validity of the remaining regulations. The parties are then obligated to replace the deficient regulation by such a regulation whose economic and legal sense comes closest to that of the regulation to be replaced.



Prof. Dr. Ursula Arning,

Prof. Dr. Ursula Arning

Phone: +49 (0)221 478-5603
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