RWTH Publications Policy and Terms of Use



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Technische Fragen


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International professional publications are the result of scientific work and one of the most important "currencies" in science. The importance of international visibility, quality assurance, transparency in research, and electronic publishing has increased in recent years.

The RWTH Aachen University document servers is a central database that documents the University's performance ability. It offers all RWTH affiliates the organizational and technical possibility to electronically publish scientific or scientifically relevant tests and document previously published material. Furthermore, the document server offers the ability to administrate internal institute documents and data collections (Institute Collections).

Authentification takes place through the RWTH Aachen single sign on, that is the TIM ID. RWTH members and affiliates can use the system free of charge. It is not just an instrument for permanent dissemination and Open Access but also for the archival and documentation of RWTH's performance capability as an institutional repository.


Content-Related Criteria

The University Library collects, saves, and catalogs various objects and their metadata. Objects include publications, unpublished documents like preprints, etc, in which RWTH affiliates are or were involved or which are relevant to their scholarly work. Certain objects and metadata are only visible within an institute (institute collection). All others are open worldwide (VDB relevant).

Objects considered VDB relevant include:

  • Publications with scholarly content
  • Publication series from RWTH Aachen,
  • Publications and publication series like collected editions, conference proceedings, research reports, and (e-)journals published by members of RWTH and its affiliated institutions
  • Documents, which must be published according to examination regulations (dissertations)
  • Final papers from RWTH Aachen students such as Diplom, Examen-, Magister-, and Master's theses

Organizational Regulations

In accordance with the Rectorate's resolution the document server is managed cooperatively: Authors use an online form to submit electronic documents to share them via the document server and to gather metadata. The University Library is responsible for the final editing of the metadata, technical operations, and the server's maitenance. It prepares the publications, documents, data collections, and metadata and makes them available to science, research, and teaching online, while ensuring established quality standards.


The Library's Services

Quality Assurance

  • Use of standardized metadata
  • Metadata entry by the University Library editorial staff
  • Students can recommend that documents be electronically published (e.g. Bachelor's, Master's, Diplom or Magister theses or final papers) with the support of a chair or the head of one of RWTH Aachen's central institutions ("Communicated by ...")


  • Secure storage and sustainable archival of documents and their metadata ensured depending on their format, reader software, and conversion possibilities

Additional Services

  • Reliable citability of publications ensured through the allocation of a unique and permanent address (DOI, URN)
  • Preparation of data for detection systems (e.g. search engines, library catalogs)
  • Advising and assistance

Terms of Use


Authors' copyright is protected when articles are published. The authors and publishers are responsible for the content of the document. The University Library irrevocably and permanently receives the simple (and not exclusive) right to use. Articles can be published again in professional journals or monographs as well as other servers even once they are made available on the document server. Authors and publishers of electronic documents are responsible for ensuring that the rights of any third parties are not infringed upon (e.g. copyright and exploitation right) when articles are published on the document server.

In accordance with the recommendations of the German Council of Science and Humanities, all RWTH Aachen scientists are advised to retain the right to self archival on the document server when signing publishing contracts. They are also advised to additionally publish their documents on the document server once any freeze periods have passed.

Authors can add open content licenses to the articles (e.g. CC license, DPPL license). Licenses offer transparency, comprehensibility, and legal certainty. With the help of such licenses authors can grant the right of use to each publication individually and make it transparent to users, how an article can be re-used.

Documents that have already been published on the server will not be deleted. However, the University Library retains the right to block published documents afterwards, if, for example, the rights of third parties are infringed upon.

Right of Use

Documents on the document server can be copied, printed, and cited for scientific purposes and personal use (§ 53 UrhG). The author's name or rather the holder of rights must be named. Any further use of the documents, including portions and excerpts, is strictly prohibited without prior approval from the holder of rights.


Metadata are available for general use (open data). They can be (automatically) accessed, saved, and, if applicable, re-used in an enriched format or just partially. They can also be made available to third parties.