Policy / guidelines

Guide to publishing content in the PUBLISSO – Repository for Life Sciences

Version: 10-02-2023

I. Subject matter

The PUBLISSO – Repository for Life Sciences provides a green open access route for scientific texts and research data for the fields of medicine, health, nutrition, environmental and agricultural sciences. The repository offers scientists, researchers, teachers and students the ability to make the full texts of their academic works accessible worldwide under the open access system.

ZB MED collaborates with the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz) to set up and maintain the technical infrastructure required for this purpose.

The PUBLISSO – Repository for Life Sciences allows authors to archive the full texts of publications online and make them universally and freely accessible worldwide under the open access system.

The term “open access” refers to free and unrestricted public access to scientific literature and research materials. The goal is to permit any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles and to use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers. The only constraint is that the copyright remains with the author. This gives authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

For more information on open access, please refer to the Repository FAQs, the Budapest Open Access Initiative, and the project.

II. Type of publication

The PUBLISSO – Repository for Life Sciences the following types of publications can be published:

  • Journal articles, book chapters, congress proceedings
  • Research reports, guidelines, standards, conference reports, videos
  • Research data
  • Other publications, e.g. theses.

III. Acceptance criteria

Submitting authors must be members of a scientific institution from the life sciences arena (university, research institute, society) and be able to identify themselves as employees of the institution.

Submitted publications must have already been authorised or published by one of these institutions or originate from a quality-reviewed journal.

IV. Rights and obligations of authors/editors (rights holders)

Authors/rights holders are responsible for the content of their published works.

The copyright remains with the authors/rights holders, who continue to be free to publish their works elsewhere.

The authors/rights holders are responsible for ensuring compliance with third-party copyright and exploitation rights.

V. Data formats and data structure

The Repository accepts pdf format for text publication and jpg and mp4 as image and video formats. Other formats may be possible on request and following consultation.

ZB MED accepts individual and merged files and also offers the option of combining multiple files in a single metadata record.

To facilitate digital preservation, files may not be encrypted or protected by passwords. Document properties must also be set to allow printing and copying.

VI. Data security and retention period

ZB MED commissioned the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz) to run the technical operations side of the repository system. As the technical service provider, the hbz ensures stable and reliable operation of the system. The hbz guarantees that all documents in the subject repository shall be kept accessible for at least ten years from the date on which they are published in the repository system.

ZB MED also operates a common digital preservation system as part of its membership of the Digital Preservation Network of the German National Subject Libraries. The data from the PUBLISSO – Repository for Life Sciences are fed into this system to the extent this is technically feasible based on data formats and metadata quality.

No provision is made for the data provider to delete digital objects once they have been entered. In justified, exceptional cases (e.g. incorrect files, legal issues) digital objects can be withdrawn following consultation. In such cases, the metadata will continue to be publicly accessible and the persistent identifier (digital object identifier, DOI) assigned to the digital object will continue to resolve to the corresponding metadata record. This record will be supplemented by a reference to the full or partial withdrawal of the data.

VII. Information on the technical operation of the repository

The hbz runs the repository in its data centre based on the open source software Fedora. It includes a Drupal-based user interface and search engine integration. The repository is operated on the hbz’s existing hardware in accordance with the hbz’s in-house IT strategy. The operating strategy encompasses all the aspects required to guarantee reliable, stable system operation and ensures high system availability (downtime generally < 2 working days).