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Guidelines for DepositOnce

 - the Repository for Research Data and Publications at TU Berlin

1. Definitions

DepositOnce is TU Berlin's institutional repository and is operated and continually developed by the Service Center for Research Data and Publications (Servicezentrum Forschungsdaten und -publikationen – SZF), hereinafter referred to as Operator of DepositOnce. The Service Center is a virtual association comprised of the University Library (management), the Service Center Campusmanagement (ZECM) and the Research Department at TU Berlin.

DepositOnce is a platform on which the research results of TU Berlin members and, if applicable, their academic partners are stored and made freely accessible on the Internet, including:

  • research data, that is evaluations and/or data required for the verification and reproduction of research results such as consolidated raw data, scripts, time records, calculations, etc;
  • publications with academic content such as journal articles (including pre- and postprints), monographs, excerpts from monographs, public lectures, research reports, studies, series, collected editions, electronic journals and conference proceedings;
  • publications that must be made public in connection with examination regulations (doctoral theses and post-doctoral theses);
  • final theses of students studying at TU Berlin (degree, Magister’s, Master’s, Bachelor's or state examination theses) if a publication of the paper is advocated by the supervisor or another academic staff member and it has received the grade "very good".

The research results uploaded in DepositOnce are hereinafter referred to as digital objects. Within the meaning of these Guidelines, digital objects comprise research data and publications in any chosen file format that are digitally stored on a data medium and distributed via computer networks.

The operation and further development of DepositOnce is integrated into a number of initiatives and projects, both on a national and international level, such as the Open Archives Initiative (OAI), the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) or the  German Initiative for Network Information (DINI).

2. Legal framework conditions

Any publication at DepositOnce requires that the author permanently transfers to the Operator the non-exclusive right to reproduce the publication and make it publicly accessible. Any printed or electronic publication of the research results – with amendments or in excerpts, if applicable –prior to, or after their publication at DepositOnce remains at the absolute discretion of the author.

Authors have the absolute right to impose an embargo on the release of research data. During the embargo, only the metadata, but not the research data itself, is made accessible to the public; in the period of the embargo, the authors, at their own discretion, may grant access to the research data to third parties upon request. Upon expiry of the embargo, the data is automatically released, thus becoming freely accessible on the Internet.

The transfer of the non-exclusive right of use entitles the Operator of DepositOnce to permanently

  • make accessible to the public electronic copies of the digital object (upon expiry of the news embargo, if any) and, if need be, to modify the digital object (with regard to its form) in order to enable its display on future computer systems. This permission excludes content-related modifications to the digital object. This right shall apply to all types of use, be they currently known or as yet unknown.
  • announce and transmit digital objects to third parties, for instance, as part of the libraries’ national collection mandates, particularly for the purpose of long-term archiving.
  • transfer agreed rights and obligations to another repository (for instance, any repository succeeding DepositOnce). This also entitles DepositOnce to assign to a third party the right to supply the digital object to the public (for example, through a facility specializing in enabling the long-term availability of such objects).

In order to govern the transfer of the required rights of use from the authors to the Operator, the following deposit licenses, tailored to either publications or research data, are offered when registering a digital object in DepositOnce:

In addition, beyond the German copyrights, authors may transfer certain rights of use to the general public by means of suitable open-content licenses (for instance a Creative Commons license or software licenses such as GPL, BSD, MIT or Apache licenses). For publications TU Berlin's University Library recommends the Creative Commons license ‘Attribution CC BY’.

The sole responsibility for the content of the research data and publications lies with the authors.

Authors are obliged to clarify whether third party rights are affected. In the event that the author learns of any existing or emerging legal obstacles, he or she shall notify the Operator thereof without delay. The Operator reserves the right to disable access to a digital object if there are concrete indications of any infringement of third party rights. The Operator is not liable for any damage resulting from the infringement of copyrights and exploitation rights, provided that these infringements are not due to provably willful misconduct or gross negligence.

3. Submission and indexing

As a rule, digital objects are transmitted for distribution via DepositOnce by means of the upload form provided by the repository. An access authorization is required for this purpose; users with a TU Account can register on their own. The Operator supports authors in the publication of their research results.

Both nationally and internationally defined standards and interfaces – such as the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, the regulations of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) or the German National Library’s xMetaDissPlus format – are used for the formal and content-related indexing of the digital objects. Metadata is captured by means of an upload form into which the authors enter the data. In doing so, the authors attribute a class according to the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) as well as free keywords in German and English. Doctoral theses and post-doctoral theses have an abstract by the author that is written in at least two languages. The metadata is reviewed by the Operator and, if necessary, corrected and complemented. For better navigation, PDF documents shall contain a bookmarks bar.

4. Making data available on the Internet

DepositOnce is committed to the open access concept and is for TU Berlin one of the tools for implementing open access objectives in line with the Berlin Declararation on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities:

  • The metadata of digital objects stored on DepositOnce is freely accessible on the Internet and may be obtained, saved and made accessible to third parties – in expanded form or in excerpts, if applicable – via open interfaces (for example, those provided by the Open Archives Initiative – OAI) that are accessible to anyone. The metadata is subject to the CC0 license.
  • After publication, the digital objects are normally freely accessible. This applies unconditionally to publications. Access protection may be arranged for research data; to this end, DepositOnce has a management system for access rights.

In order to ensure permanent access to the digital objects, the latter are assigned quotable, lasting indicators in the form of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI), which are registered and administered at DataCite.

Once published, digital objects cannot be changed. DepositOnce provides a versioning feature to document new findings.

Once published, digital objects will not be deleted from the server. In the event of the submission of a compelling legal reason, online access to the digital object may be restricted. However, the digital objects will remain in the repository.

The number of monthly hits for a digital object is statistically analyzed; the usage figures are displayed on the respective metadata pages of the digital objects.

A search feature for both the bibliographic metadata and the full texts is available on the pages of DepositOnce. Digital objects can be researched in local, regional and transregional library catalogs and search engines as well as via the DataCite Metadata Store and the academic search engine BASE. To increase the visibility of its service, DepositOnce is registered with the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) and the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3Data).

As a registered OAI Data Provider, DepositOnce fulfills the requirements of OAI-PMH Version 2.0. The baseURL is https://depositonce.tu-berlin.de/oai/request.

5. Long-term storage and archiving

Digital objects are stored for the long term, that is, in accordance with the recommendations of the German Research Foundation, for at least ten years (see Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Academic Practice at TU Berlin).

Authors are asked to submit their digital objects in a format that is capable of being archived for the long term. As a rule, digital objects must not have any copy protection or be subject to other measures of digital rights management (DRM). Publications are requested to be submitted in the PDF/A format (see the University Library’s Instructions for Creating PDF/A Files).

In cooperation with a suitable facility specialized in long-term archiving, the Operator aims to digitally preserve the digital objects stored in DepositOnce. The digital preservation of publications is ensured through the long-term archiving system of the German National Library.

The Operator will make every adequate effort to ensure the long-term storage or archiving of the digital object. The Operator cannot be held liable for any damage to, or loss of, the digital object or other related data.

7. Responsibilities and contact persons

The following departments of the University Library are responsible for the content of the research results stored in DepositOnce: Main Department 3 – Electronic Services is responsible for research data and the Special Department – University Press / Theses is responsible for publications.


Technische Universität Berlin – Universiy Library
Fasanenstr. 88, D 10623 Berlin
  • Research data:
Main Department 3 - Electronic Services
Tel.: +49 30 314 76399
  • Publications:
Department University Press / Theses
Tel.: +49 30 314 76127

Status: 2015-11-23

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