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Policy for the publication service u:scholar

1 Description of the service

The publication service u:scholar, which can be found online at, offers the organisational and technical infrastructure to enable all members of Vienna University to publish and archive academic documents and materials electronically. It serves as an institutional repository and is closely connected to the university's research activities documentation. Thus u:scholar is an important part of the open access activities to implement the Berlin declaration on open access to academic knowledge, which was signed on 26 January 2010 by the then rector of Vienna University.

Technically, u:scholar is based on Phaidra, Vienna University's digital asset management system, whose operation and development is integrated into international open access projects and initiatives.

Objects entered into u:scholar receive permanent links and are catalogued through national and international retrieval systems such as library catalogues or search engines. One of Vienna University's top priorities is to ensure long-term archiving according to international standards, beyond the minimum period of five years.

2 Purpose of the service

It is the aim of Vienna University to store, catalogue (by means of keywords, abstracts and the DDC) and archive the electronic documents and materials of its members, and to offer the public free access to them. This applies to purely electronic (“born digital”) publications as well as to electronic versions of print documents.

3 Authors’ rights

All authors’ rights are preserved. Vienna University does not disallow authors from publishing documents they have uploaded to u:scholar in academic journals, monographs or on other servers. All academic staff of Vienna University are advised to secure the respective rights in their contracts with their publishers and to also publish their documents through u:scholar. It is recommended that authors use Creative Commons licences. It is the authors’ or editors’ own responsibility to ensure that the rights of third parties are not infringed or violated through the publication on u:scholar.

4 Technical features

All digital objects are given individual and permanent addresses (persistent identifiers), which allow direct access to the documents and materials, given that no legal restrictions apply.

International standards such as the guidelines of the Open Archives Initiative are used to catalogue, store and archive the electronic documents. Dublin Core is, among others, used as the metadata format.

Access to objects in u:scholar is guaranteed for a minimum of five years.

5 Properties of objects in u:scholar

Electronic documents published and archived n u:scholar share the following properties:

  1. They are meant to be distributed to the public. If desired, access can be restricted or allowed only after a given period of time (e.g. if embargo conditions apply)
  2. Changes to objects must always be stored as new versions; the previous version retains its persistent identifier. This ensures the sustained usability and correct citation of the contents.
  3. In principle, all file formats are allowed. However, it is recommended that users upload a PDF version in addition to the source format to ensure long-term readability of the contents.
  4. Content-wise, the objects should be academic documents and materials from Vienna University: journal articles, pre- and post-prints, monographs, edited volumes, congress proceedings, research reports, working papers, etc.

If the uploaded documents do not fulfil these qualities, the University Library’s Repository Management (see chapter 6) reserves the right to deny publication and contact the submitter.

6 Organisation

u:scholar is run by Vienna University, with the Vienna University Computer Center (ZID) in charge of technical services and the University Library’s Repository Management in charge of the content. The current conditions of use can be found at Terms of use.

Electronic publication and archiving is offered to the authors free of charge.

The documents and materials can be submitted to u:scholar in a variety of ways: firstly, authors can upload them directly by using the u:scholar portal. Secondly, objects in u:scholar will be created within the framework of standardized workflows by the University Library’s Repository Management or via the university’s research activities database. In all of these cases, the Repository Management will check the metadata and the files for functional and technical integrity, and conduct other necessary work such as process the electronic documents or convert them to alternative file formats.

You can contact our staff for all your questions pertaining to u:scholar at

University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0