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ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences is a key component of German and European information infrastructure in the field of life sciences. It is also a driving force behind the creation of an interconnected digital ecosystem of knowledge. Drawing on the extensive resources of its unique holdings, ZB MED offers exciting opportunities for researchers to acquire information and utilise research data in the life sciences arena. As one of the leading service providers in its field, ZB MED is the perfect partner for anyone looking to take a more innovative approach to acquiring, processing and exploiting scientific information and research data. The Information Centre offers literature, specialist information and related value-added services, primarily in a digital format. These are available through its semantic-based search portal LIVIVO and its publishing portal PUBLISSO, as well as at its sites in Cologne and Bonn. ZB MED firmly believes in encouraging a steady supply of high-quality scholarly and scientific resources, which is why promoting and supporting open access (OA) is one of its top priorities. The Information Centre also conducts applied research in the field of knowledge discovery.

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LIVIVO is an interdisciplinary search engine for literature and information (research data) in the field of life sciences. It has been run by ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences since April 2015. This new search portal replaced the MEDPILOT and GREENPILOT websites, bringing together under one roof the subject areas of medicine, health care, and nutritional, environmental and agricultural science.

As well as providing access to ZB MED’s own holdings at its sites in Cologne and Bonn, LIVIVO also incorporates 66 other data sources to provide comprehensive search results that cover all the pertinent literature. These include MEDLINE (bibliographic database of the US National Library of Medicine), AGRICOLA (catalogue of the US National Agricultural Library), and relevant extracts from the open access database BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine).

LIVIVO provides access to more than 58 million records from the life science arena. The portal uses an index-based search engine featuring specially developed search technology. Highlights include automated linguistic enrichment and semantic linking of search terms using defined vocabulary specially tailored to the life science arena. This search technology helps users quickly find the information they need.

The LIVIVO user interface has a responsive design that makes it easy to access on tablets and smartphones. 


PUBLISSO is ZB MED’s publishing portal. It highlights and showcases ZB MED’s commitment to the principles of open access. ZB MED believes in promoting free access to research results on a general basis, and PUBLISSO stems from its mission to act as a driving force for open access in the realm of life sciences. The three main services that PUBLISSO offers are publishing, consulting, and networking/policy shaping.

PUBLISSO enables journals, conference reports and books to be published through the same platform while meeting appropriate quality standards. This boosts their visibility and facilitates both standard and interdisciplinary cross-references.

PUBLISSO’s consulting services predominantly focus on open access publishing options for texts and research data. In addition, PUBLISSO offers comprehensive information on key legal aspects, funding programs, and the requirements stipulated by research funding bodies in regard to open access.

Networking and policy shaping:
ZB MED plays an active role on policy committees, enabling it to respond promptly to the latest political developments in its fields of expertise. At the same time, ZB MED gives a voice to life science researchers on these committees, striving to inject their needs and practical experience into future policy making.

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Bonn site

Cologne site

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