Document Server of the Freie Universität Berlin: Help

Table of Contents


The document server of the Freie Universität Berlin contains fulltext versions of essays, conference proceedings, research reports, etc. which have been authored by members or institutions of the Freie Universität Berlin.
Documents may be copied, printed out, and cited for scholarly purposes and for the user’s personal use (§ 53 UrhG - German copyright law). Copyright is held by the author(s). The terms of use of the electronic version of a document can also be extended through a Creative Commons license.
The Universitätsbibliothek holds other electronic documents on the document server, for example, the proletarian women’s movement collection, the UN/EU Documentation Center collection, and retrodigitized items from the holdings of FU libraries.


With the simple search you automatically search all fields of the documents’ descriptions (metadata) and all documents’ contents (fulltext search).
Search terms are linked with a default AND. Fulltext search of document contents only functions for items that are text indexed; this means that audio, multimedia, and some pdf. documents will only be retrieved via metadata.

Search terms must consist of at least three letters.

It is possible to search with word truncation plus *
e.g. frau*
will retrieve Frau, Frauen, Frauenforschung, Frauenzimmer, etc.
It is also possible to search with the exact order of search terms
e.g., foreign affairs
will find “foreign affairs” but not “affairs in foreign policy.”

The advanced search option uses a search form with fields that you specify. If you require help, click on the search tip by the side of the field.

Browse in Lists

Here you can scroll through various lists.

Subject area according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system
Document Type/Collection
Department/ Institution

Submitting a Document

  1. You have an email account at the FU Berlin and hold the copyright of the document.
  2. Fill in the submission form describing the document (minimum: mandatory fields). Help buttons are at the side of each field.
  3. Save the description of the document.
  4. Make any necessary corrections (during the session you can do this yourself).
  5. Next, upload your file(s).
  6. Complete your submission. Your document is not yet publicly accessible online, but changes can now only be made by the UB’s editorial team.
  7. You will receive an email confirming receipt of your document with an attachment that contains the publication agreement.
  8. Please fill out the agreement, make and sign two copies, and send them to the UB.
  9. The UB editorial team will then make your document available online.
  10. The UB will send a countersigned copy of the agreement back to you.

For further information visit our pages on Open Access, Copyright, and Publication Agreement.



What does the document server of the FU Berlin offer?
The document and publication server is a free service provided by the Universitätsbibliothek. FU members may deposit electronic copies of their scholarly works free of charge, which are archived indefinitely in the online repository and are retrievable via the Internet.
Also deposited on the document server are the Proletarian Women’s Movement collection, electronic documents of the UN and EU documentation center, and retrodigitized holdings of FU libraries.

What is Open Access?
Open Access resources are defined as quality-tested electronic scholarly material that is accessible online worldwide free of charge to users. For more details: What is Open Access?

How does one cite documents retrieved from the Internet?
Documents stored in the FU’s online repository are all given permanent addresses, so-called persistent identifiers and can thus be cited (see UCLA Library: Citing Internet Sources)

What is the Universitätsbibliographie?
The University Bibliography lists published works by the FU Berlin and its members, which have been written since 1982. Since 1993 these are stored in a database and can thus be searched online. The University Bibliography contains bibliographic information; there are only a few links to electronic fulltext versions.

Are there terms of use for documents that are publicly accessible online?
The FU Universitätsbibliothek is authorized to make the documents in its online repository available on the Internet; the documents may be copied, printed out, and cited for scholarly or personal use only (§ 53 UrhG — German copyright law). Copyright is held by the authors. Sole responsibility for contents lies with the authors. Any commercial use of the documents or any part thereof is strictly forbidden unless prior permission has been obtained from the operators of the document server. All uses must state the name of the author(s)/rights holder(s) of the document.
The author(s)/rights holder(s) may modify these terms of use by means of a Creative Commons License .


Who is entitled to deposit documents on the document server?
All members of the Freie Universität Berlin are eligible to deposit/publish their electronic scholarly documents on the document server free of charge. This includes students who have a written recommendation from their tutor. An email account from the ZEDAT is required, which all FU members can get.

What are the advantages of publishing on the Internet?

  • Fast and free of charge.
  • Documents are available worldwide on the Internet.
  • Documents are retrievable via regional and supraregional catalogs, search engines, and reference systems.
  • Quality assurance through qualified technicians and librarians (formats, standards, referencing)
  • Guaranteed availability, storage, and long-term archiving of documents.
  • Documents can be cited because they are assigned persistent identifiers: Uniform Resource Names (URNs) are reported to the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library).
  • Digital signatures, or “fingerprints” (hash values), ensure that a document’s authenticity is guaranteed.
  • The authors retain the copyright; i.e., the freedom to publish their document elsewhere or use their intellectual property in any other way.
  • Depositing a thesis or dissertation on the document server means that fewer printed and bound copies need to be submitted.

Which formats are acceptable?

  • PDF files (*.pdf)
  • Html files (*.html)
  • XML files (*.xml), if a DTD (*.dtd) or an XML schema (*.xsd) has been specified.
  • PNG files (*.png)
  • JPEG files (*.jpg)
  • GIF files (*.gif)

Under certain circumstances other formats may be accepted. Please contact the UB.

Is a special account required to log onto the document server?
A special account is not necessary; just an email address from the Freie Universität Berlin domain. This permits any author to enter metadata and upload files. You are identified as an author automatically when you click on “Submit document.” Access to the data you have entered terminates when you quit the session, or the timeout after 30 minutes’ inactivity during a submission session. After receipt of the author’s signed publication agreement the UB will make the document available on the FU document server.

Where can I get an FU email address?
All FU members can apply to the ZEDAT for an email account. Most departments also allocate email addresses.

Why do I have to sign a publication agreement?
The agreement about publication of a copyrighted work is a legal safeguard to protect both parties.
Please fill out and sign two copies of the agreement and send them to the UB. The UB will sign and return one copy to you (by in-house mail system if possible). Please ensure that the UB receives your publication agreement not later than 30 days after submission of a document. After receipt of the author’s signed publication agreement the UB will make the document available on the FU document server.

Is it possible to make corrections to what I have submitted?
You can only make corrections during the session when you submit a document. Once you quit, or are timed out after 30 minutes’ inactivity, corrections are no longer possible. Contact the UB’s editorial team if you need to make changes.

Can I have my document deleted from the server?
Items are indefinitely archived on the document server; they are indexed and can be retrieved via the library portal, catalogs, and search engines. Thus the availability and retrievability of the documents is comparable to that of printed publications as well as citability. Revised versions will be stored as new editions.
Documents can be deleted; for example, in case of legal problems. It is also possible for authors to cancel their publication agreement with the UB; then the document will be removed from the server. The author then has to contact the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek personally to get the document’s Uniform Resource Name (URN) deleted from their archive server.

Are there issues of copyright that I must consider?
You must hold the copyright of the document. If the document has already been published elsewhere you should check the terms of your contract with the publisher. Please read the information in Authors’ Rights and Copyright.
If the document is being published for the first time, authors retain all rights to their intellectual property. The document may therefore also be published in a journal or monograph, or deposited on other servers.

Are images and graphics permissible?
Yes. The formats accepted are: PNG (*.png), JPEG (*.jpg), and GIF (*.gif).

Can students at the FU deposit documents on the server?
All members of the FU Berlin are permitted to deposit their scholarly works on the document server. This also includes FU students who have a written recommendation from their tutor.

Can students at the FU deposit their theses and dissertations on the document server?
At the present time theses and dissertations are held on a different server: (Sorry, only a short description is available in English, more details in German)

Can I find out how often my document has been retrieved and downloaded?
Unfortunately, this is not possible at the present time.

Do the documents get an ISBN?
No. The Universitätsbibliothek is not a commercial publisher, so the documents do not get an International Standard Book Number identifier barcode.

What exactly does the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Act (DNB-Gesetz) say?
If a work is published in the territory where German legislation is enforced, the author must deliver his or her work (one or two copies, § 2 DNB-Gesetz) to the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Until 28 June 2006, this only applied to “material media works” (books, CD ROMs, etc.); as of 29 June 2006, this also applies to “immaterial media works” (i.e., electronic publications on the Internet). The authors’ legal obligation to send copies of their work is detailed in § § 14 and 16 of the DNB-Gesetz. The DNB-Gesetz provides that the UB is legally obliged to communicate the Uniform Resource Names (URNs) to the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB-Gesetz of June 2006).

Does one receive monies from Verwertungsgesellschaft Wort (author rights collecting society) for publications in the Internet?
Unfortunately, not at the moment — but this may be possible soon. Currently negotiations are being conducted between the various author rights collecting societies and the industries involved about levying such fees, e.g., when one purchases a computer.

Can I stipulate a date when my document will be available online?
Yes. For example, if you specify an embargo period in the description of your document because of copyright reasons, the document will not be made publicly available before that date.