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Objectives and content criteria

Refubium gives all Freie Universität Berlin members the organizational and technical framework for the electronicpublication of academic documents and makes them accessible on the Internet for research and teaching purposes in compliance with quality standards.

The electronischen documents are assigned persistent addresses and are listed in the University bibliography and are made searchable in selected national and international library catalogs, search engines and other bibliographic tools.

By means of special measures, such as digital signatures and time stamps, the server offers protection against falsification. Furthermore, long-term preservation of the electronic documents is ensured for a minimum of five years in cooperation with the German National Library (Deutschen Nationalbibliothek, DNB).

Server maintenance and development are integrated in national and internationale initiatives and projects, such as the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertation (NDLTD) and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI).

The Freie Universität Berlin University Library's responsibility in collection development, as it applies to electronic documents

The University Library's responsibility in collection development in the realm of electronic documents includes storage, cataloguing and preservation of all academic documents in electronic format published by Freie Universität Berlin members as well as publications commisioned or edited by Freie Universität Berlin units. That applies both to strictly electronic publications as wll as to electronic version of printed documents.

Furthermore, the University Library is responsible for collecting doctoral and habilitation theses in electronic format as well as documents (including graduation papers) produced by students if a member of Freie Universität Berlin faculty recommends publication of the document in writing.

Important works held by the University Library and other Freie Universität Libraries in physical formats that have been digitized for content or preservation reasons or to allow remote access are also made accessible on Refubium.

Intellectual-property rights

Publication on Refubium does not prevent subsequent publication of documents, for instance, in journals, in book format, or on other servers.

In other words, authors of documents grant the University Library the non-exclusive right to permanent presentation of the documents on Freie Universität Berlin servers.

According to the recommendations set forth by the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat), all researchers at Freie Universität Berlin who enter into publication agreements with publishing houses are called upon to retain the right to subsequent publication so that they can additionally submit their works to Refubium – after an embargo period if it cannot be avoided.

Responsibility for compliance with intellectual-property rights and licensing rights of third parties lies with the authors and editors of the works. Intellectual property rights of authors remain intact.

Terms and conditions of use

Material submitted to Refubium, the Freie Universität Berlin repository, may be copied, printed, and quoted for academic purposes and for personal use, according to German intellectual-property law (§ 53 UrhG). Intellectual property rights lie with the authors. As far as each document's content is concerned, the authors bear all responsibility.

All commercial use of documents, including that of parts and excerpts, without prior consent by, and consultation with, the server operators is expressly prohibited. Attribution to authors / rights holders must be made by name.

Authors can assign a Creative Commons license to their work, as published on Refubium. Thereby, authors can grant the users of their work rather extensive rights, such as those of adaptation or of comercial use. Electronic publication on Refubium allows Freie Universität members to meet the standards set forth in the Freie Universität Berlin Open-Access-Policy.

The electronic document

In the context of this guideline, the term "electronic document" is understood to refer to a document that is based on text and graphics, is stored in digital format on a storage medium, and is distributed through computer networks.

In order to be made accessible on Refubium, an electronic document must meet the following conditions:

It is intended for distribution to the public. It is not a dynamic document. If changes are necessary, the changed electronic document is saved as new, additional version.

It is in keeping with the technical parameters predetermined by the Freie Universität Berlin University Library.

All All electronic documents in the repository are uniformly indexed, documented and made publicly accessible.

Types of electronic documents

Electronic documents stored and made publicly accessible fall into the following categories:

    • publications and publication series created at Freie Universität Berlin
    • publications by Freien Universität Berlin researchers
    • publications and publication series, such as edited volumes, conference proceedings, research reports, electronic journals or periodicals, edited by Freie Universität Berlin members
    • documents the publication of which is required by graduation regulations or other regulations; doctoral and habilitation theses fall into this category
    • publications and publikation series created by, or edited by, authors or insitutions associated with Freie Universität Berlin
    • documents created by Freie Universität Berlin students, such as bachelor's, master's, and similar theses, as well as course papers, provided publication is recommended in writing by a member of faculty
    • electronic journals, especially archive copies, provided the necessary permissions with respect to license regulations have been provided by publishers
    • Electronic documents produced by third-party institutions insofar as they fall within the collection profiles of the University Library or department library and relevant rights have been acquired

Distribution of electronic documents can be restricted either in terms of space – e.g., use on Freie Universität Berlin grounds only – or in terms of time if so reauired by the terms and conditions of use.

Technical details of Refubium

By employing suitable technology, the University Library as operator of Refubium ensures the integrity and authenticity of the stored documents.

The electronic documents are assigned individual and persitent addresses so as to make them directly accessible.

The electronic documents are discoverable by searches in library catalogs and across bibliographic metadata. Search terms can be located within the structure of each electronic document. Alphabetical and classification orderings as well as dynamically created lists and indexes are also provided.

Long-term preservation (five years garanteed, but basically forever) is ensured in cooperation with the German National Library (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek). That includes conversions to technical formats differnt from the format of submission or transfer to other servers. Submission file format is currently defined as PDF; more specifically, PDF/A as the most suitable format for long-term preservation is the preferred submission format.

Organizational regulations

    • Refubium is provided and run by the Freie Universität Berlin University Library.
    • In principle, electronic publication is free of charge for Freie Universität Berlin members and members of institutions associated with Freie Universität Berlin.
    • For publication on Refubium, electronic documents have to be submitted to the Freie Universität Berlin University Library.
    • Upon consultation, members of the University Library staff will assist authors with additional work necessitated in the process of publication, such as preparation of electronic documents or conversion to other formats, but as a rule, the actual tasks involved will be carried out by the authors themselves.