Get in touch.

List of contacts


Cologne Site

Medicine and Health

Phone: +49 (0)221 478-5685
ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Gleueler Straße 60
50931 Cologne (Köln)

Bonn Site

Nutritional, Environmental and Agricultural Sciences

Phone: +49 (0)228 73-3400
ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Nußallee 15a
53115 Bonn


Studying or working in life sciences?

We've got the research tools you need.

E-books and e-journals

Which e-books and e-journals are available in full-text versions?

Different content will be available depending on wether you are accessing the system from the Cologne University Campus Network (UKLAN) or from some other Location within Germany (remote access). That`s because different types  of licenses apply depending on where you are logging in from.

In our reading rooms in Cologne and Bonn you have Access to both types of licence.

Where you are accessing the content fromWhat you have access to
ZB MED reading roome-media licensed for Cologne University campus
e-media licensed for ZB MED remote access
Cologne University campus, outside of the ZB MED reading roome-media licensed for the campus
e-media licensed for ZB MED remote access, only with ZB MED library card
VPN access for members and associates of Cologne University from outside the campuse-media licensed for the campus
ZB MED remote access (not VPN!) From anywhere in Germany with ZB MED library carde-media licensed for ZB MED remote access
no access to e-media licensed for the campus

Cologne University campus (UKLAN)

In its role as the Medical Department of the University and City Library of Cologne, ZB MED provides access to full texts via the campus network (UKLAN).

Users can search for e-journals through the Electronic Journals Library (EZB).

Licensed e-journals are indicated on the EZB website by an amber traffic light; these are freely accessible within the UKLAN. Open access journals are indicated by a green traffic light symbol, and paid access journals for which the library has not yet acquired a licence are shown by a red traffic light. Even though it is not possible to access the full text of this latter type of journal, the system will generally display its table of contents and abstract.

You can use LIVIVO to search for e-books that are available on the Cologne campus. In addition, the University and City Library of Cologne offers various packages of e-books through UKLAN. Click here to see what collections are currently available.


VPN access

Members and associates of the University of Cologne can access the UKLAN from outside the campus network by setting up an authenticated connection via a VPN link. The Higher Education Act of North Rhine Westphalia stipulates that the following types of users are entitled to make use of this option: Employees, registered/enrolled students, cross-registered and auditing students, professors by special appointment, honorary professors, associate professors, lecturers and visiting academics.
This option is also available to people who work at Cologne University’s teaching hospitals.
Applications should be submitted to the Computer Centre (“Rechenzentrum”) at the University of Cologne. Please visit its webpage to find out more about VPN access at Cologne University.

Remote access

ZB MED has an ongoing policy of acquiring electronic specialist literature in the life sciences and making this available to registered ZB MED users via ZB MED remote access:

E-book collections

Access Medicine (McGraw-Hill) (users can also search for individual items through LIVIVO)
eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), 1995-2006
Karger (1890-2017)
ProQuest EbookCentral (recent releases from various publishers)
2016 LWW Classic Book Collection (Ovid)


APS Journal Legacy Content (1898-1997)
Endocrine Legacy (1917-2003)
Journal of Clinical Oncology Legacy Archive (1983-1998)
Karger Journals Archiv (1998-2016)
Oxford Journals Digital Archive (1849 - not the current year)
Sage Journals Online Deep Backfile (1879-2016)


CAB Abstracts Archive (1910-1989)


How do I sign up for remote access?

You need a library card from our Cologne site to register for remote access service.
However, we understand that some people are unable to come to Cologne in person to apply for a library card.
ZB MED therefore also offers a simplyfied registration process that only entitles you to use remote access.
Please note that this service is only available to people resident in Germany.
To take advantage of this simplified registration process, simply fill out the application form for a ZB MED library card and return it to us by email together with a copy/scan of your valid ID card, or one of the other documents listed here (both sides please!).
Our email address is ausleihe@zbmed and you can also send it by post to:

- Ausleihe -
Gleueler Straße 60
50931 Köln

We will then create a virtual library card for you and send you the card number by email or post. This virtual library card, which is valid for one year, only entitles you to use our remote access service for e-books and e-journals.
To renew your virtual library card, you will need to repeat the process described above.
As an alternative to remote access, you can use the interlibrary loan system to order journal articles and individual chapters of e-books in your local library.


How does remote access work?

To find electronic media (e-media) in your list of search results on our  LIVIVO search portal, look for the globe symbol indicating "online" and the "Full text online" tab.

"Access Medicine" und "ProQuest EbookCentral":
If you find an e-book from these collections in LIVIVO, you can click on the full text button and than follow the instructions to reach the ZB MED proxy server log-on page.Simply sign in with your library card data (your user number and your password, which by default is your six-digit date of birth = DDMMYY). You will than be able to access the full text.

To access any other remote access items, you will need to use the links specified above.


Help! I can´t access the item I need!

Step 1: Are you online and connected?

Check that your Internet connection is working. If you are accessing a campus license via VPN (for members and associates of Cologne University): check that you are connected to the University of Cologne's network.

Step 2 (only applies to access via VPN, does not apply to ZB MED remote access): Check your browser Settings.

Make sure you are not using a proxy server and check that your browser is not set to use a proxy server.
For example:

Firefox: From the Tools Menu (?), select Options. In the General section, scroll down until you see Network Proxy and click Settings. Select “No proxy”, then click OK.
MS Internet Explorer: Tools → Internet options → Connections → LAN settings → make sure that "Use a proxy server for your LAN" is NOT checked!

Step 3: Try accessing other items

Check that you are unable to access other items, too. As a precaution, experiment with different publishers. Occasionally one publisher's server may be overloaded or offline for maintenance work.

Step 4: Is Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your Computer?

To browse and print PDF files, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Alternatively you can try opening the items as HTML files. The latest version of Acrobat Reader is available from Adobe's website.

Step 5: Do you have cookies activated in your browser?

Most publishers' websites require you to accept cookies. Check that you have cookies activated in your browser.
For example:

Firefox: Tools → Options → Privacy → Set the “Firefox will” option to “Use custom settings for history” → Check the box "Accept cookies from sites"
MS Internet Explorer: Tools → Internet options → Privacy → Adjust your setting for the Internet zone or click Advanced for further options

Step 6: Do you have JavaScript activated in your browser?

Some publishers require JavaScript to be activated before you can use their website.
For example:

Firefox: Tools → Options → Content → check the box next to “Enable JavaScript"
MS Internet Explorer: Tools → Internet options → Security → Custom level → enable "Active Scripting"

Step 7: Send us an e-mail to find out more.

To help us try and solve the problem you will need to supply us with the following information:
Where are you trying to access the item from? Are you on the University campus, using a VPN, or accessing the system using the ZB MED remote access option?  
For campus licences: Which computer (institute and IP address) are you using to access the full texts?
What are the details of the journal/e-book you are trying to access (title, year, issue, article)?
Are you only having problems accessing this particular item or is it a wider problem?
Occasionally publishers might temporarily block access to their systems without our knowledge. We are always grateful to have this brought to our attention. We will do our best to reply to your e-mail as soon as possible.

Using full texts in the reading room

We provide computers in the library's reading room for research purposes. You will need a library card if you wish to use the Internet. No word processing software is installed on the computers. You can either send the results of your searches by e-mail or save them to a USB stick.

Important note on copyright

All users are required to observe copyright regulations. In the case of copyrighted works, users may only make copies of small parts of a work, of small-scale works, or of individual articles released in newspapers or periodicals or made available to the public. Users are not permitted to make copies of books or journals that are essentially complete, nor are they permitted to make copies of graphic recordings of musical works (sheet music).

Copies may be made for the purposes stipulated in § 53 of German copyright law (UrhG). These include, in particular, copies made for one’s own scientific use, as well as copies made for personal use for state examinations and examinations in schools, higher education institutions, non-commercial training and further training institutions, and vocational training institutions. Copies may not be made for the purpose of any direct or indirect financial gain. 

Items offered in an electronic format may not be systematically downloaded, forwarded or used for commercial purposes. Users are required to observe the licence conditions applicable in each case.

Copies made for private or other forms of personal use may not be disseminated.

ZB MED negotiates with publishers to obtain rights that go beyond the statutory minimum rights in each case. The licence conditions specify how many pages may be printed and saved on data storage devices. Please contact us by email if you have any questions on the agreements we have made with publishers.