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peDOCS is a scholarly open access document server for scientifically relevant publications in the field of educational research and educational science.

As a major full text service in the discipline, peDOCS is part of the German Education Portal. It is provided by the DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education, and was funded by the German Research Association (DFG).

peDOCS offers authors in the disciplines of educational science and education as well as related domains an organisational and technical framework for publishing scientifically relevant documents in electronic form.

We store the documents on a central server, enrich them with bibliographic data and index their contents. peDOCS additionally stores documents on a long-term basis, and defines quality criteria.

By collecting scientific texts on peDOCS we intend to provide broad dissemination and open access to relevant publications from the areas of educational research and educational science. The visibility and recognition of documents are fundamental to a sustainable reception and the integration of findings into further research, and into scientific discourse.

The service predominantly targets researchers in education science and training, but from a science perspective, it also integrates pedagogical practice. The database references literature from all the subdisciplines of education science and education political publications.

A global availability of documents is assured by incorporating peDOCS into the German Education Portal, the central access to educational information, and by rendering peDOCS searchable on the German Education Server and in search engines.

By providing peDOCS, the DIPF offers researchers and authors an opportunity to self-archive their scholarly publications. By self-archiving their publications, researchers support and promote open access to scholarly information, an approach that is adopted by renowned research organisations and respective funding organisations in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities , which is also endorsed by the Open Access Policy of the DIPF.

The initiative Think. Check. Submit. offers checklists that help authors identify dubious journals (so-called predatory journals) or untrustworthy publishers before the publication process.

Advantages and services regarding peDOCS

peDOCS enables you to publish electronic full texts quickly, without complications and free of charge.

The electronic documents are indexed and described in a qualified manner, including an estimation of their quality standard (e.g. by peer review). They can be searched in international search engines and other reference systems (e.g. the German Education Index) and they are accessible independent from time and location.

Furthermore, the documents are provided with persistent identifiers (URNs), in connection with their announcement to the German National Library (DNB) as well as the assurance that the electronic documents will no longer be altered, stored on a long-term basis thus their citation persistency is guaranteed.

Rules for publishing on pedocs

We accept documents for peDOCS that fulfil the collection mandate of the document server in terms of their contents, quality, form and document type.

Contents and form of documents

In order to fulfil the disciplinary requirements of the document server, a document that is incorporated in peDOCS must be related to education or educational science in its entirety, or to a large part.

At least one thematic aspect needs to correspond to one of the following thematic fields - see also the German Educational Research Association, GERA (DGfE) division structure:

  • History of Education
  • General Education (education philosophy, educational science, biographical research, pedagogical anthropology, science research)
  • International and intercultural comparative research 
  • Empirical educational research – also: educational organisation, educational planning, educational legislation)
  • Curriculum and teaching – school pedagogy
  • Special educational needs
  • Vocational education, economics
  • Social pedagogy, early childhood
  • Adult education(also: organisational pedagogy)
  • Leisure research and sports pedagogy
  • Women and gender studies in education science
  • Media education
  • Environmental education
  • Differential education science and research (psychoanalytic pedagogy, pedagogy and humanist psychology)
  • Pedagogical psychology
  • Subject didactics
      • General education topics
      • Mathematics and science teaching
      • Music and arts education
      • Practice-oriented subjects
      • Social science and philosophy subjects
      • Language and literature
      • University education/ -didactics

and educational policy, educational administration, higher education research and higher education administration.

Furthermore, all of the criteria listed below must be met as regards its quality and form:

  • Authenticity: The author or editor of the document is named.
  • Purpose of the publication: The author or editor intends the document to be published in print or on a document server.
  • Text: More than 50% of the document is written text, including elements such as tables, diagrams, charts, figures etc. The document is not merely listing headwords or keywords.
  • Formal correctness: The document may not contain any serious orthographical or lexical errors. Its outer form is coherent, and it is consistent with generally applied standards.
  • Completeness of contents: The document must be complete as regards its contents. It must be coherent and complete in its own right and quotes from external sources have been marked.
  • Scientific claim: We solely accept documents that correspond to generally recognised standards for scientific publications.
  • Expertise: In case of graduate theses where a publication is not mandatory, the expert or experts reviewing the thesis must be named on the title page of the document. The document should be assessed with distinction in order to qualify for publication on peDOCS.
  • Language: Texts can be published in German and English on peDOCS, in cases of special agreements also in other languages.

Document type

The following categories of electronic documents are stored and disseminated via peDOCS: monographs, collected works, contributions from collected works and journal articles in terms of

  • publishing house publications;
  • authors' versions (pre-prints, in terms of publications preceding a publishing house publication and post-prints, publications succeeding a publishing house publication, which may differ from the publisher's editions due to a formal or content revision);
  • re-publication of out-of-print publications;
  • graduate theses and university publications (e. g. B.A. and M.A. theses, Ph.D. theses or habilitation theses);
  • first publications that do not involve a publishing house, so-called "grey literature";

We do not publish on peDOCS: websites, school books, curricula, (interim) reports, discussion reports, working reports, legal texts, user manuals, editorials and reviews (except the reviews of the Erziehungswissenschaftliche Revue (EEA)), position papers, statements, slides from lectures (e.g. Power Point presentations), posters, announcements, advertising material, press release, leaflets, handouts, notes, presentations by pupils or students, form sheets or bibliographies.

It is not always possible to draw a strict line between the types of document. In cases of doubt, the editors of peDOCS reserve their right to select material.

Guidelines for indexing

In order to assure an effective search for the contents of a document at a national and international level, we index each publication by bibliographic and technical metadata, as well as assigning a classification according to a pedagogical discipline and the discipline of education within the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), and we also use controlled and free key terms. A description of the document in an abstract is an optional requirement.

We ascertain the data by means of a form the authors can fill in themselves. In order to assure a consistent standard of quality, the peDOCS editors check the entries, and process the metadata by enhancing and correcting them if necessary.

In addition, we provide a cover sheet for each document listing indexing information in terms of essential bibliographic data, information on the publishing house of the original publication if applicable, and copyright notification.

File format

Documents to be published on peDOCS are subject to the following conditions:

  1. The document is available as a PDF file or PDF/A format respectively. Further information on the creation of barrier-free pdfs can be found in the Guidelines of RepManNet AG Accessibility (in German).
  2. Its access is not limited, e.g. by restricting printing by a password requirement.
  3. The document is completed and it does not contain any dynamic elements.

In specific cases, peDOCS can use scanning and OCR software to digitize documents that are provided in print only. Please note that the results from these procedures may contain errors depending on the printed master document.


Services provided by peDOCS

peDOCS aims to provide documents on a long term-basis, and it collaborates with the German National Library in order to achieve a long-term storage of its documents.

An electronic text that is uploaded onto peDOCS will be available for anyone on the internet for a long time. Each text is assigned an individual address (URL), allowing for immediate access. Each document is furthermore assigned a Persistent Identifier (URN) for its long-term, global and unambiguous referencing, independent from location.

The providers of the document server guarantee they will archive submitted documents for a minimum period of five years. Duration of archiving depends on the availability of the format, viewing software and options for conversion. Furthermore, the original files submitted by the author are stored in their delivered format.

The text and the document description are registered with the German National Library for the purpose of long-term storage, where they are catalogued and archived on a permanent basis: These processes are irreversible once they are completed. Documents that have been finally published can no longer be altered or deleted. Texts with altered contents are treated as new documents. In exceptional cases, a document can be blocked if the author claims his or her right, according to § 42 UrhG (German copyright law), to recall a publication owing to a change of conviction or his or her personal rights, or the violation of third party rights. In exceptional cases, access to the full text and metadata can be deactivated for legal reasons. Activation of the URN will then lead to the following information: type of document, URN, date of deletion and reason for deletion.

We serve various thematically focused and general paths of distribution, in order to assure that the publications entered in peDOCS are visible and findable. The publications can be searched in:

Furthermore we transfer our data to so-called OA servers such as BASE or OAIster.

As far as possible, we offer PDF files that are accessible by using adaptive technologies for disabled computer users.

A statistical account of the accessibility rates of individual documents can be generated and shared.

Our service is enhanced by being connected to the registration system for publications, VG Wort, for distributing royalties for electronic publications.

Organisational regulations

Each author is free to publish his or her documents on peDOCS. Publications are subject to the authors' requests. The authors cannot claim for further compensation and peDOCS does not make any payments to the authors in any way.

Electronic publications on peDOCS and the use of peDOCS are not restricted in any way. Its services can be used anywhere, free of charge.

The authors can use an upload form to save documents fulfilling the selection criteria on peDOCS. The authors themselves, or a person they have commissioned, enter the formal and content descriptions of the documents. The peDOCS editors check the content and technical form of the documents according to the criteria outlined here prior to finally submitting an electronic document. We reserve our right not to publish documents that do not correspond to the guidelines specified above, or that might violate effective legislation. Moreover, we can block access to documents if we receive information that they might violate effective legislation.

Terms and Conditions

The rights and obligations of authors and peDOCS are subject to a contract agreement. Pursuant to German copyright legislation, all rights of a publication accessible on peDOCS remain with the author. Additional use of the documents is thus possible at any time. The authors and editors of the electronic documents respectively are responsible for observing third party copyright legislation.

Authors grant peDOCS a right of use. This right includes an electronic storage, particularly in databases, making the document accessible to the public for individual use, for screen reproduction and printout (online-use) as well as the right to convert the file format for the purpose of long-term archiving and visualisation. The integrity of the document is maintained in this process, and the contents of the documents are secured while the visual presentation (layout) cannot always be guaranteed in the long term. Furthermore, we cannot guarantee for the accuracy of a document that has been digitized by peDOCS  as results depend on the quality of the submitted original printed document.

The German copyright law provides for the following rights regarding users, also pertinent to electronic documents that are disseminated by means of data networks: users have the right to make personal copies or printouts, for their own scientific or non-scientific use. The author must authorise any further use beforehand, in written form. Authors are free to grant further reaching user rights on the basis of the Creative Commons licence ( If possible, we recommend publishing under a Creative Commons-BY-license (CC-BY).

Moreover, via the contract for authors or the contract for co-operating partners, DIPF is granted the right to use the full text for the purpose of information science research and text- and data mining activities. This is done in order to continuously optimise peDOCS‘ services and, for example, to link full texts to underlying research data sets (i.e., data sets that are cited in the text itself and are available in open access). As the contracts are modified as required, we recommend users who publish their work in peDOCS to take note of the regularly updated version.

Users are personally responsible for observing legislation. They are liable for violations of the copyright law.

peDOCS is not liable for the contents of documents or their unlawful use by third parties.



If you wish to cooperate or collaborate with peDOCS, please contact:

peDOCS-Team (
DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education
Rostocker Straße 6
60323 Frankfurt am Main
Phone +49 69/24708-340 (Dr. Sieglinde Jornitz)

If you have any technical questions, please contact the administrator:
Henning Hinze (
DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education
Warschauer Str. 34 - 38
10243 Berlin
Phone + 49 30/29 33 60-63

You will find information regarding the fundamental system parameters here.

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