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Technical requirements

1. File formats and transfer

When transferring documents, please bear in mind that the German National Library will only archive one electronic document version in cases where different versions with identical content are submitted. When choosing between a number of versions of the same document in different file formats, priority should be given to long-term accessibility. The preferred file formats are therefore PDF/A and other PDF versions. Besides long-term accessibility, a further priority is the availability of any alternative formats used. If the document is only available in other file formats, the Online Publications Service () should be contacted prior to submission.

PDF documents, e-books in EPUB format and container/archive files can be transmitted using the web forms and the automatic harvesting procedure for submitting online publications. If the container files contain multiple file documents, they should also contain a clear HTML start page.

Transferability is of paramount importance here. A transferable online publication should not be so inextricably embedded in the specific hard and software conditions of its original environment that it is unusable elsewhere. Archive systems cannot provide proprietary system environments for each individual publication, rather they must restrict themselves to the conditions currently prevailing in the market (e.g. a PDF reader). A transferable online publication must constitute a logical unit which can be extracted from its environment and must not be reliant upon a server connection which is used to download dynamic key content elements at the time of the user interaction from a secondary data holding system.
Nor should complete websites be submitted in containers, as a different retrieval process is planned for this.

The file formats must be transferred in unprotected form. This simplifies the task of ensuring permanent usability of the documents.

2. File viewer for online publications

A range of applications (viewers) is required for viewing online publications. These must conform to the relevant standard installation. They include PDF (e.g. Adobe Reader), EPUB (e.g. Adobe Digital Editions), HTML (e.g. Firefox), image formats such as JPEG or TIFF (e.g. IrfanView) and ZIP (e.g. WinZip).

If all the parts of a multipart online publication are held in an archive file (e.g. as a ZIP archive file containing an online dissertation consisting of several individual files), all the individual files should first be unpacked on the local terminal before a single file can be opened. This ensures that the file links between the individual files function correctly.

In some cases it may not be possible to display online publications properly with all versions of the relevant file viewer. Please ensure that the current version of the file viewer is used. If series errors arise while accessing archived online publications, please report this to the Online Publications Service ().

3. Technical instructions regarding the data structure and syntax of online publications

Data received via the interface will only be subject to machine-processing by the German National Library. The submission web forms are not dependent upon a particular metadata format.

The description of the metadata structure which can be processed by the German National Library is found under metadata core set and applies for the automatic deposit processes. It is available for the following formats: ONIX for Books, MARCXML and XMetaDissPlus.

The metadata core set and reference description contain details of permissible elements and syntax. The quantity of permissible and mandatory element and subelement names and of possible combinations of the qualifiers (LONG, SCHEME), element attributes and codes (e.g. for ONIX for Books) is defined accordingly. If further metadata elements are to be submitted, e.g. in ONIX format, please contact the Online Publications Service ().

Last update: 19.12.2012

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