Goals and scope of service

As an institutional repository of the HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU), repOS offers all members and affiliates of the university the organizational and technical framework for the electronic publication of research results in open access. The basic regulations of HafenCity University Hamburg define who is a member or affiliated.

Open Access

The HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) is committed to open access in science. According to the "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities", open access at HCU means that scientific publications are made available in compliance with quality standards on the Internet to all interested parties without legal, financial or technical barriers and can be reused. This includes not only text publications such as journal articles or monographs, but also research data, for example primary data or digital images of research objects. This promotes visibility, verifiability and reusability of the research achievements of HCU members and affiliates. The repOS repository is available to members and affiliates of the HCU for publication. Electronic publishing on repOS enables them to comply with the principles of good research practice as well as the requirements of national and international funding institutions. With regard to research data, repOS follows the FAIR data principles (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable).


The electronic publications are given persistent identifiers (DOI & URN) and are referenced and findable via national and international library catalogs and search engines. repOS guarantees long-term archiving and availability of the published content for at least ten years in accordance with the recommendations of the German Research Foundation.

The published documents are not intended to be modified or deleted. This guarantees the authenticity of the documents, which are therefore comparable to printed publications. However, a new version can be uploaded as a stand-alone document and in justified exceptional cases, individual documents can be excluded from the public view.

For the operation and further development of the repOS server, the requirements of national and international initiatives and projects such as the German Initiative for Network Information e.V. (DINI), the Coalition of Open Access Repositories (COAR) and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) are taken into account.


The repOS offering includes the publication, collection, cataloguing, visualisation and archiving of scientific electronic content generated by members and affiliates of the HCU. This includes both purely electronic publications and electronic versions of printed documents.

HCU theses can also be published electronically and made freely available worldwide on the Internet. This also satisfies the obligation to publish dissertations, which is anchored in the doctoral regulations. Master and Bachelor theses can be accepted in exceptional cases if they represent outstanding achievements and are recommended for publication by the supervisors.

The documents published here include

File formats

Widespread file formats currently in use on the market, such as PDF, DVI, HTML, JPG, TIFF and PostScript, as well as compressed file archives in GZ and ZIP formats, are supported by repOS. However, in order to keep the publications as accessible and long-term available as possible, PDF or PDF/A formats should be preferred and, if possible, one file per document should be uploaded. In addition, the files must be free of technical protection measures. If you need help with the conversion of file formats, please contact us:

With regard to research data, all formats commonly used in science are supported. These include text formats, spreadsheets and table formats, raster/ vector/multimedia raw data, point cloud formats and program packages. For questions please contact us:

A document must fulfill the following conditions:

Submission and library indexing

The bibliographic data can be entered by the users of the service themselves. A function for data import via DOI is available for this purpose. Alternatively, the data can also be entered manually. Writing access to the database is automatically granted to academic staff at the HafenCity University Hamburg via an authentication service (LDAP) provided by the IT department. All other authorized users have the option of creating an account themselves. The bibliographic data are licensed CC-0 for subsequent use and further distribution (e.g. for library catalogues).

Additional work necessary for the publication, such as the acceptance and verification of electronic publications, is carried out by the HCU library or, for research data, by the research department or is supervised by arrangement. Research data can currently only be uploaded via the research department. For quality assurance, only research data generated in peer-reviewed research projects are published.

The content of the documents is usually indexed using freely assigned keywords (by the author) and bound keywords according to the controlled vocabulary of the GND (Integrated Authority File). Each publication additionally receives a DDC notation.

Legal framework

The protection of copyrights, exploitation and usage rights of third parties to the content to be published as well as compliance with data protection and personal rights are the responsibility of the authors or the editors of an electronic publication.

Many scientific publishers allow authors to make their previously published works freely available on an institutional publication server. On repOS, scientific documents are made available by the authors in this sense.

First publication

The copyrights and rights of use are regulated in a publishing contract (Contract on the publication of a digital publication / Contract on the first publication of a dissertation or habilitation). In the case of initial publication on repOS, HafenCity University is permanently granted the simple right to reproduce and make publicly available the electronic publication by the authors. The authors' copyrights to their content are preserved. Publication on the publication server does not prevent further publication in journals or monographs or on other servers. Authors are recommended to use Creative Commons licenses to regulate the rights of use of their content.

By signing the publication contract, the rights holder simultaneously grants repOS the right to report and pass on the documents to third parties, e.g. to the German National Library (DNB) for archiving. This granting of rights also includes the right to make copies and to convert the documents into other electronic or physical formats.

Secondary publication

In accordance with the recommendations of the Science Council, all researchers and students of the HCU are advised to secure a corresponding further right of use when concluding publishing agreements and to make the content they publish available additionally as a secondary publication (so-called "postprint version") - possibly after an embargo period - on repOS. In the case of secondary publications, the duration of the embargo shall be governed by the applicable legal provisions (Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht, §38(4) UrhG) and/or any existing publishing or licensing agreements (see therefore the SHERPA/RoMEO list).

Research data

When submitting research data to the research department for publication on repOS, researchers are responsible for ensuring that they own or have obtained the necessary rights and permissions to disseminate the data. Persons who re-use or redistribute the research data stored in repOS are requested to observe and comply with the copyright and licensing regulations applicable to such data.

Special requirements for the publication of student works

In order to ensure efficient quality assurance, the consent of the respective supervisor by signing the publication contract for electronic storage of student work is mandatory. The publication contract must be submitted to the library together with the work. For student works there is the possibility to release them with restricted access only within the HCU network.

Special legal aspects of student work

The final thesis is regarded as an examination paper under university law. The university does not have any rights of exploitation and use beyond the right to examine, unless they have been explicitly granted to it by the graduate. The author is generally entitled to the sole copyright of the work and the resulting rights of exploitation and use. The graduate must take the copyright of third parties into account when creating the work.

If the graduate has granted a third party (e.g. a company) an exclusive right of use for the work, the work may not be published through the library, exploited by the university or made generally accessible. The posting on the publication server of the library is irrevocable and cannot be revoked. The thesis is therefore considered to be published in terms of copyright law and can be cited via a link.

Contact persons and organisational arrangements

The institutional repository repOS is managed by the library of the HCU. The server administration is provided by the computer centre of the TU Hamburg. In use is the open source software DSpace. The service is permanently available. Electronic publication is free of charge for members and affiliates of HafenCity University Hamburg and members of institutions associated with HCU.

If you have any questions concerning the repository and the associated services, please contact digitaledienste@hcu-hamburg.de.