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About this server

The Leibniz Center for Contemporary History (ZZF) in Potsdam operates this document and publication server as an open-access resource for scholarly publications and research data. In doing so the ZZF is acting in accordance with its open-access policy, based on the open-access policy of the Leibniz Association and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities on the Internet. The server is one of various portals and publication platforms combined at the ZZF under the umbrella of “Zeitgeschichte digital”.

This server publishes original works and/or sources and documents of relevance to research in contemporary history that have not been published at other open-access repositories. The publication service is available to all employees, fellows, Ph.D. students and alumni of the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History (ZZF) in Potsdam. The following types of documents can be archived and made available on this server:

  • essays from journals and edited volumes;
  • contributions in working papers, unpublished talks (gray literature);
  • monographs and edited volumes;
  • unique source documents, data collections and audiovisual (AV) data / research data.

Authors can upload the works themselves using the appropriate form. Contents will always be checked by employees of the ZZF’s “Zeitgeschichte digital” team before publication. A written agreement on rights of use will also be made between the author or contributor and the “Clio-online e.V.” society (see below) or the ZZF. Contributions should be submitted in full exclusively in PDF format.

Open Access

The server primarily pursues the so-called green road to open access and serves as a secondary publication site for literature that has already been quality-checked. The current focus of publication is on retrodigitization, i.e., digitizing older print publications and republishing them in digital format, e.g., the ZZF’s Studies in Contemporary History series. The legal basis of this is provided either by general legal frameworks or explicit contractual agreements with the author and/or original publisher. Information on how international publishers handle secondary publication rights can be found, e.g., at the SHERPA RoMEO List website, which provides summaries of publisher copyright and open-access archiving policies on a journal-by-journal basis. Another significant share of publications on this server are the archived versions of articles from the ZZF’s online portals: Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte, Zeitgeschichte-online, Zeithistorische Forschungen und Visual-History. This publication server also PDF reprints of all articles from Zeithistorische Forschungen / Studies in Contemporary History that have only been published in HTML format at the website. PDF issues of this periodical are subject to an embargo period of one year (three issues), after which they are freely available on this server.

Following its own guidelines for ensuring good scholarly practice , the ZZF is including on this server for research purposes important digital resources, data collections and AV media. For privacy reasons, these holdings cannot always be open access. Interested scholars should contact the editorial team to learn more about the terms of use.

All publications are given title pages, citations, metadata, and abstracts if possible. They always contain information on the license-holders and terms of use of each document. In order to ensure permanent access as well as clear referencing and citation, each full-text document is allocated a persistent identifier (DOI) – comparable to an electronic ISBN or ISSN. The allocation of DOIs is carried out by the DataCite registration agency in cooperation with the Göttingen State and University Library.

Published documents are indexed by content in a local and a global classification system. All documents are classified according to uniform subject headings as well as place and time-period categories. This local classification system is used for all contributions at participating portals of “Zeitgeschichte-digital.” Employees of the ZZF library will likewise index the documents according to the Dewey Decimal System.

Publications on this server are meant to be available over the long term. The digital preservation of files on the server is guaranteed through their archiving as online publications at the German National Library. This means that, once it has been published online, a text cannot simply be deleted by the publisher. At the express wish of the author or copyright holder and upon presentation of significant, legal grounds access to the full text will be deactivated by the editorial staff, although the corresponding metadata record will remain accessible via the DOI along with a corresponding note about the document having been removed. The ZZF and Clio-online guarantee that the full texts published on this server will be archived for as long as possible, but no less than five years. The technical infrastructure (server hardware) is operated by the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History and maintained by employees of Department III/IT in accordance with the standard technical procedures described in the institute’s privacy policy.

All metadata on this server shall be considered as belonging to the (CC0-Lizenz)public domain (CCO license) and are available for free and unrestricted use via the server’s OAI-PMH web interface. To increase the visibility of the full texts on the Internet, metadata are shared with the “Leibniz-Open” open-access catalog of the Leibniz Association and OAI service providers such as the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE). The publications are also contained in the Common Union Catalog (GVK) by way of the ZZF library.


Through publication on this server, a non-exclusive right of use is transferred to the “Clio-online – Historisches Fachinformationssystem e.V.” society. The society was founded in November 2007 at Humboldt University in Berlin and has its business offices there. The society is the official umbrella organization for various services provided by the ZZF, including Zeitgeschichte-online, Zeithistorische Forschungen, Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte and Visual-History, as well as being responsible for operating H-Soz-Kult, an information and communications platform for historians. It sees itself as a supporting association, offering a long-term legal framework for cooperative ventures in the area of historical online services as well as information infrastructure. Moreover, as a private corporation it offers additional legal protection for the projects run by the society as well as for the rights of use and copyright of all authors represented on the platform.

Transferring the rights of use to Clio-online e.V. allows institutional members of the society, such as the ZZF, to save the full version, make it available to the public for online use (viewing, downloading, printing) and convert it into other data formats for the purpose of long-term archiving. Users of this server can choose between various license agreements that either allow for further use (republication) of the text without requesting permission from the author and the ZZF or those which require such consent. The private, non-commercial use of all work published on this server is always possible without requesting permission.

It is the responsibility of those who submit documents to ensure that no third-party rights (esp. copyright and rights of use) are violated through open-access publication. Making a publication available on this server does not exclude publication by the print-media copyright holder or on other document servers (i.e., rights of use are non-exclusive).


The accessing or downloading files on this server is recorded with the aid of Matomo. There are filters in place to filter out automated access through bots or suchlike. The number of user sessions is recorded, i.e., user interactions within a certain period of time (30 min.). This statistic is published in the ZZF’s annual reports. For detailed information on data protection and the use of Matomo on this platform, please refer to our privacy policy.

How do I publish my work here?
Please click on the publication link on the start page.
First you are requested to choose a document type. Right beneath that you can upload your document files. Having done so you may click on "send". What follows now is the actual form. You have to fill in data about your publication here (so called metadata), which is used to describe your work in cataloges and other bibliographic directories. Describe the document you want to upload using the categories and fields on the publication form. Depending on the document type, some of these fields are mandatory and therefore have to be filled in. Please describe your document as clear as possible. Mandatory fields are for example:
  • the document type (must be choosen from a list)
  • the title of your publication and the language of the title
  • the abstract of the document
  • the publication date of your document (normally the day you publish it online)
  • the language of the document (must be choosen from a list)
  • the licence, under which you want to publish your document (must be choosen from a list)
If you are unsure what to fill in certain form fields, you can point the cursor on a field and an explaining help text will be shown.
After you have finished the form, all data will be displayed once again for a check-up and you then have three possibilities: you can correct them if necessary, add your document to a collection or simply safe it directly.

In oder to publish your work cookies have to be enabled in your web browser.