Volltext-Downloads (blau) und Frontdoor-Views (grau)



What is Cologne Open Science?

Cologne Open Science is an open access publication server for researchers at TH Köln, where quality-controlled research papers can be published online and accessed in full text. All documents published via Cologne Open Science appear in curated series, undergo a peer review process and are therefore characterized by a high level of subject-specific relevance. The DINI certification of Cologne Open Science also ensure standardized quality control of this publication service. Further detailed information on the technical and organizational regulations of Cologne Open Science can be found in the Cologne Open Science Guidelines. (in German only)

What does open access mean?

Open access means publishing research results electronically and making them freely accessible via the internet. Further information on open access can be found on the website of the university library. (in German only)

The TH Köln supports the principles of open access and emphasizes this by adopting its own open access declaration. The university therefore follows the recommendations of many science and research funding organizations.


For general questions about open access, applying for a new series or specific questions about a publication, please contact the publication service of the university library:
TH Köln Hochschulbibliothek
Campus Deutz
Betzdorfer Str. 2
50678 Köln

Please send series contracts to:
TH Köln Hochschulbibliothek
Campus Deutz
Betzdorfer Str. 2
50678 Köln

Documentation and technical Support
This document server is based on the repository software OPUS 4. OPUS is documented here: https://www.opus-repository.org/.

For most queries in Cologne Open Science, the simple or advanced search by title or author is sufficient. You can narrow down your search by using the advanced search or filtering, the hit list, e.g. by document type. You can also display the search results in different ways (e.g. in ascending order by year of publication). It is also advisable to search via the browsing function. There you can select a specific filter and continue searching only the relevant documents.

With the simple search, several search terms are automatically linked with "and". For a more specific search, it can be helpful to combine or exclude several search terms by using the Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).

AND: All search terms entered must occur in the document (e.g. sight AND view).

OR: Only one of the search terms entered must occur in the document. This function extends the search range and is useful if different terms exist for a topic (e.g. sight OR view).

NOT: This function has an exclusionary effect and can be used to limit the number of hits: In documents in which one search term occurs, the other must not occur (e.g. sight NOT view).

Wildcards: If you are not sure how to spell a search term, for example a name, or if you want to extend your search, you can use * and ? as wildcards. It is not possible to use them at the beginning of a search term.

Phrase search: You can use double quotes (") with expressions to search for a particular phrase (e.g. "Japanese cherry blossom").

Reading and printing documents

To be able to read or print the documents, the free software Acrobat Reader is required.

Quoting electronic documents

To permanently address the publication, please quote the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or the URN (Uniform Resource Name). These can be found in the frontdoor view of a publication in the metadata of the lower section.
For the date, please enter the last time the source was accessed by the person quoting it.

Unfortunately, URNs currently can´t be called up directly with web browsers. To translate them into URLs, the Resolving Service of the German National Library is required. Therefore, prefix the actual URN with the abbreviation https:/nbn-resolving.org/ to access the document.
The same applies to calling up a DOI. Here, the abbreviation https://doi.org/ precedes the actual DOI.

Electronic publications can be quoted as follows:
Mai, Vanessa: Projektcoaching und Leadership-Coaching als integrative Elemente in der Ingenieurausbildung. (Forschung und Innovation in der Hochschulbildung, 8). Available online: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:832-cos4-9261 or https://doi.org/10.57684/COS-926 [accessed June 8, 2022]

Advantages of publishing via Cologne Open Science

Publications can be found easily and quickly via the Internet. In addition, all documents are listed in the catalogues of the university library, the North Rhine-Westphalia Union Catalogue, the German National Library as well as in scientific search engines (such as BASE) and databases.


Open access publications can be found more easily and are therefore potentially more frequently quoted than prined publications. All electronic publications on Cologne Open Science are given a Uniform Resource Name (URN) at the German National Library. Via this address, every publication is permanently accessible and thus also quotable. In addition, TH Köln University Library ensures the long-term preservation of the documents as PDF files at the German National Library. Currently, a period of at least five years is guaranteed.


Publishing via Cologne Open Science is free of charge. After the formal criteria have been checked by the university library, the document is published online within a short period of time and can therefore be quoted immediately.

Secondary publication rights

Unlike with commercial publishers, authors at Cologne Open Science retain their right of secondary publication (see "Legal"). They only transfer the simple right of use for one-time publication via Cologne Open Science.

EU guidelines

All funding programes of the European Research Council (ERC) and Horizont 2020 require either a first publication as open access or at least a delayed open access second publication via a repository. Cologne Open Science offers scientists a suitable platform for publishing their research results under these EU funding programes.

Application for a new series on Cologne Open Science

To apply for a new series, at least three professors of the TH Köln must be named as members of the future editorial board. In exceptional cases, employees of other universities may also be members of the editorial board.

The editorial board submits an informal application to the Vice President for Research and Knowledge Transfer of the TH Köln.

The following questions should be explained in the application: What is the title of the new series?
What is the composition of the editorial board and who will be in charge of the series?
What is the content-related orientation or scientific relevance of the series?
On addition, it is important to provide information on the planned publication frequency of the volumes as well as on the planned quality check for the manuscripts intended for publication (e.g. editorial workflow in the peer review process, internal/external review).
After formal approval of the series by the Executive Board, the university library concludes a publication series contract with the editorial board of the new series.

Graphical representation of the application process
Publish with Cologne Open Science

Authors submit their manuscript to the editorial board of a series already approved for Cologne Open Science for the peer review process. If the document is accepted into the series, the editorial board uploads the finished PDF document to Cologne Open Science via the submission form. For each document published in their series, the editorial board concludes an author contract with all authors of the document. These contracts remain with the editorial board. The library provides a contract form.

Dissertations can also be published via Cologne Open Science after successful completion of the doctoral procedure. Two separate publication series are available for this purpose:

  • Cologne Publications on Engineering and Natural Sciences Research and
  • Cologne Publications on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The library advises and supports the process of publication, provides a binding template for the title page design in accordance with the corporate design of the TH Köln, but does not itself act as the publishing body or publisher. If a clear identification of the series or the individual series publications is desired, the application for an ISSN or ISBN is made by the author or by the publication management.

Graphical representation of the publishing process
Design specifications

To ensure the uniformity of the volumes in the series, the university library provides a template for the design of the title pages.

File formats and technical requirements

Cologne Open Science currently only supports document types in PDF format. Publications must therefore ideally be submitted in archivable PDF/A format or as a simple PDF file.

PDF/A was developed as an international standard especially for archiving documents. This ensures that the file is also readable on computers where the fonts used are not installed.

Conversion into a PDF/A document is nowadays possible directly from many text editing programes.

To enable long-term archiving, it is not allowed to use any password and/or copy protection on the files.
There is no size limit for uploadable files. If your publication exceptionally requires a high resolution or if contractual requirements of a publisher require copy protection, please contact us in advance. Publication service

Assignment of an ISBN/ISSN


An ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is required for the unique identification of a publication series or journal. An ISSN is issued free of charge by the National ISSN Centre for Germany at the German National Library.

Information on how to apply


An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is required for the unique identification of a book or a volume published in a series. There is a charge for the assignment of an ISBN.

You can apply for an ISBN at the Agency for Book Market Standards: http://www.german-isbn.org

Editing and deleting documents

Documents published via Cologne Open Science cannot be subsequently edited or deleted. This guarantees the authenticity of the documents, which are comparable to printed publications. If a correction is necessary or desired, the changed document must be completely re-submitted. This corresponds to a new edition or an edited edition in the case of printed publications.

As an author, you can generally choose whether you want to publish your documents via Cologne Open Science as a first publication (so-called "golden path") or as a second publication (so-called "green path") in the open access procedure. Further information on the publication paths can be found here.

By publishing via Cologne Open Science, the university library is only granted the simple right of use for publication on the Internet. On the part of the university library, this means that further publication with publishers, journals and other servers is possible.

In the case of a first publication via a publisher, it should be checked which rights of use and exploitation or blocking periods have been contractually agreed with the publisher. Then the way should be clear for a second publication via a university publication server such as Cologne Open Science. SHERPA/ROMEO provides an overview of publishers with information on the respective transfer of rights.


The copyright of a publication remains with the author. They transfer the simple right of use to the university library for one-time publication via Cologne Open Science and thus retain their right of secondary publication. The university library receives the right to store the documents, to make them publicly accessible electronically worldwide and, if necessary, to convert them into other data formats or to produce copies.

The library expressly points out that compliance with copyright and usage rights is the responsibility of the authors. The authors assure in the author contract that they have observed the copyright and do not violate the rights of third parties.

New series contract

The publication series contract for the establishment of a new series can be found here.

The editorial board concludes a series contract (formerly "publisher's contract") for a new series with the TH Köln, acting on its behalf the university library. In this contract, the editorial board assures in particular that it will only publish a document on Cologne Open Science once it has received the signed author's contract from all authors.

Publishing as an author

To publish a document within an approved publication series, the author and the editorial board conclude a contract. You can find this author contract here.

A document can only be published on Cologne Open Science once the signed author contract has been submitted to the editorial board. As soon as the author contract is available, the library checks the PDF uploaded to COS including metadata and publishes it.

You can find English version of the author contract here.

The English translation of the author contract is protected by copyright. Reproduction and distribution in whole or in part (e.g. photocopying, storage and processing in electronic systems) requires the prior consent of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.

Publishing as a doctoral candidate

Dissertations can also be published via Cologne Open Science after successful completion of the doctoral process.

Two series are available for this purpose, which are supervised by the TH Köln as the publishing organ:

  • Kölner Schriften zur Ingenieur- und Naturwissenschaftlichen Forschung (Cologne Papers on Engineering and Natural Science Research) and
  • Kölner Schriften zur Geistes- und Gesellschaftswissenschaftlichen Forschung (Cologne Papers on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences).

Doctoral students conclude a publication contract with the library for their dissertation.
Publication contract for dissertations


As an author, you can use Creative Commons licenses to define the rights of use of your publication for the public. Documents published via Cologne Open Science are published under the CC license: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs. For more information on Creative Commons licences, click here.