ScientificCommons is a project of the University of St. Gallen Institute for Media and Communications Management. The major aim of the project is to develop the world’s largest archive of scientific knowledge with fulltexts freely accessible to the public.

Scientific Commons
FoundedSeptember 2006
FounderThomas Nicolai, Lars Kirchhoff, and Beat F. Schmid
TypeNon-profit organization
FocusBuilding infrastructure for access to scientific publications

ScientificCommons includes a search engine for publications and author profiles. It also allows the user to turn searches into customized RSS feeds of new publications.[1] ScientificCommons also provides a fulltext caching service for researchers.

Since the beginning of 2013, ScientificCommons has been inaccessible. All visitors are forwarded to an administration login for server virtualization management software Proxmox VE[2] and the site is no longer issuing a valid TLS certificate.


ScientificCommons has no registration wall for searchers, but repositories that are not indexed can register by name and the OAI interface URL. It uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) to extract data.[3] Currently, only OAI-compliant repositories and personal websites that are enhanced through Dublin Core in their HTML headers can be included in the index.

ScientificCommons strongly supports self-archiving,[4] a legal way for authors to make publications from over 90% of scientific journals available,[5] often called the "green road to open access". The maintainers suggest that scientists should refuse to publish with any journal which will not allow them to self-archive.[4]

Apart from the metadata scraped from repositories, lexical and statistical methods are used to index keywords.[1] Citations are also extracted from the bulk text.[6] This data is used in the search engine and RSS feeds.

ScientificCommons has been designed to work with Zotero.[7]

Because it was made in German-speaking Switzerland, the web interface is also available in German. The majority of the information is in the language of publication, however.


As of August 2008, Scientific Commons has:

  • 21,022,206 Metadata Records
  • 8,510,882 Authors
  • 916 repositories

See also


  1. Bailey, Charles W., Jr. (19 January 2007). " Access to Over 13 Million Digital Documents". DigitalKoans. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011.
  2. "Proxmox Virtual Environment". ScientificCommons. Archived from the original on October 1, 2013.
  3. Scientific Commons: Register Repository Archived November 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. Scientific Commons: Help Archived November 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving". eprints. Archived from the original on 4 November 2011.
  6. Kirchhoff, Lars (23 March 2007). "ScientificCommons starts citation analysis". Lars Kirchhoff [Web Journal]. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013.
  7. Kirchhoff, Lars (19 March 2007). "Zotero and". Lars Kirchhoff [Web Journal]. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012.
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