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Dissertation-related research data - Collection by the German National Library

Press release:  25.10.2017

In its "Dissertation-related research data policy" the German National Library has for the first time defined its responsibilities with regard to research data related to scientific publications. Data which recognisably belongs to a legal deposit publication, i.e. research data published as part of a dissertation, is subject to the collection mandate of the German National Library. Depending on the scientific discipline, this could include measurement data, observational data, survey results or other types of data. The legal deposit regulation excludes independent data publications from the collection mandate.

The German National Library cooperates with the Humboldt University in Berlin as its project partner on the Electronic dissertations Plus (eDissPlus) project which is funded by the German Research Foundation. The current focuses of the work are on collection guidelines, and on publication and delivery processes for research data published as part of another publication (based on the example of dissertations). A major result of this project is the "Dissertation-related research data policy".

Publicly available research data that has been generated for a dissertation and is indispensable for understanding the research findings will, in the future, be ingested along with the legal deposit publication and permanently archived. The data is indexed separately, but is regarded as part of the dissertation itself and is directly linked to it via catalogue entries. It is up to the doctoral students themselves to decide whether the research data is indispensable or not.

In addition, the German National Library supports a distributed archiving approach. Data can also be stored in trusted long-term repositories. Processes and criteria that result from this policy will be published at a later date.

Policy of the German National library for dissertation-related research data


For over a century now the German National Library has been collecting, documenting, archiving and making publicly available all written publications and sound recordings issued in Germany, or in German, since 1913. It provides its comprehensive range of services at its twin sites in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main, but also in digital form to a global circle of users. In addition the German National Library also houses valuable and extensive special collections in the German Exile Archive 1933-1945 and the German Museum of Books and Writing. It showcases its valuable collections and promotes the culture of books, reading and music by regularly staging readings, exhibitions, lectures and concerts. It houses over 30 million media units and attracts roughly 220,000 visitors to its two sites in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main with its collections and rich and varied programme of events.

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