Frequently Asked Questions

Open Access

What is Open Access?

In a nutshell, the Open Access movement promotes free access to the scientific literature. For a more in-depth introduction, we recommend this video in English and this introduction in French.

Why should I upload my papers to a repository?

You should do it because:

  • It makes your research more accessible and more visible. Many researchers routinely check papers in topic repositories such as arXiv, and it is less likely that these researchers check your homepage regularly.
  • You can even do it before publication. You can get valuable feedback to improve your paper before the actual peer-reviewing process. It may also be useful to establish priority if it takes a long time for your paper to get published.
  • It provides you a durable storage. Your homepage is likely to change or to disappear, for instance if you leave your current institution.
  • Librarians around the world cannot check whether all the papers in a given journal are available on homepages: in doubt, they subscribe to this journal to make sure their researchers have access to it. This costs a lot of money for research institutions. Papers stored in repositories are easier to detect and can help academia save money.
  • Finally, for all these reasons, an increasing number of funding bodies require the outcomes of their projects to be made available in a repository.

What repository should I use?

There are roughly three types of repositories:

  • Subject repositories, restricted to some research fields, such as arXiv.
  • Institutional repositories, designated to store the research output of a given institution or country.
  • General-purpose academic repositories such as Zenodo, not limited to a particular scope.

If your research community favours a specific repository, using it makes sense as it will increase your visibility. If not, institutional or general-purpose repositories are also good options.

Why can't I deposit in my favorite repository yet?

At the moment, you can use Dissemin to deposit in the following repositories:

Supporting more repositories requires us to write specific code for each repository. More importantly it requires the repositories to give us permission to deposit papers in bulk. We have been considering integrating the following repositories:

  • arXiv, a well-known general-purpose repository. For now, arXiv has declined to allow Dissemin to deposit using their SWORD API, and wants users to deposit in arXiv manually. If you would like to deposit in arXiv with Dissemin, you can let them know that you are interested (email: help AT, and start your message with "Dear arXiv,").

What is

Dissemin is a web platform gathering metadata from many sources and analyzing the full text availability of publications of researchers. It has been designed to foster the use of repositories (rather than preprints posted on personal homepages), for numerous reasons.

Is a repository?

Dissemin is not a repository as it does not store any full text. When the full text of a publication is available, a link to the relevant page is provided. The full texts deposited through Dissemin are stored in third-party repositories such as Zenodo or HAL.

Who runs

Dissemin is brought to you by the CAPSH association.

Can I create my profile on

Yes you can. We will ask you to create an ORCID profile if you do not have one yet. This only takes a few seconds.

Policies and full-text availability

What do your policy classes mean?

Open access:
The full text is made freely available by the publisher (in a fully open access or hybrid journal).
Pre/post prints allowed and full text available:
The full text is available in a repository, but might not be freely available from the publisher itself. This is in line with the publishing policy and is called green open access or self-archiving.
Pre/post prints allowed but full text unavailable:
The full text could be made available in a repository (as above) according to the publishing policy. We encourage their authors to do so.
Pre/post prints forbidden:
The publisher forbids deposits in repositories, in general. Authors might still be allowed to deposit their works after some embargo period or if their funder has an agreement with this publisher.

When is a paper considered available?

When we have found it in one of the repositories we harvest. The list of these repositories can be found here. Thanks to the BASE search engine, we cover more than 80 millions of preprints.

Should I trust your statistics?

There are a few caveats concerning our data:

  • Some papers are not present in any of our metadata sources, so they are not counted at all.
  • Some entries in our system do not correspond to proper research papers.
  • Some of them have been incorrectly classified by our homonym disambiguation system.
  • Some repositories might not be covered by any of our sources, so a paper might be marked as unavailable while it is available.
  • Some papers might be marked as available but actually, they are not (for instance because the content has been deleted).
  • And many other technical issues.

Omissions and errors

One of my papers is missing. Why?

There are many possible reasons: maybe it is not available from any of our sources, your name is spelt differently or partially in the authors list, our algorithms estimated that it has been written by an homonym researcher, or it has been deleted by one of your co-authors.

In any case, you should be able to add it manually soon.

Some details of my paper are incorrect. What can I do?

In a near future, you should be able to create an account and fix it by yourself. If it is really urgent, send a message to

There is a freely available copy of my article online but does not find it.

First, note that Dissemin does not account for copies of articles that are only available on a personal homepage or a similar website. This is intentional, because we believe that articles should be hosted in repositories.

Second, at the moment, Dissemin only supports repositories with a crawlable API that follows the OAI-PMH protocol, and is registered in BASE. We have a long-term project to support more repositories by crawling them, but for the moment, we do not have the resources to support repositories not covered by BASE.

If you are a user of a repository and would like it to be supported by Dissemin, please contact the repository administrator and suggest them to implement OAI-PMH support and to register their repository in BASE. If the repository is registered in BASE but is not properly supported by Dissemin, please email and we will investigate the issue.

Authentication with ORCID

Why do you need to authenticate users?

Authenticating users is necessary to deposit papers on their behalf in open repositories. Besides, knowing a user's ORCID id helps us find its publications, avoiding articles authored by namesakes for instance. Logging in via ORCID will not expose any private information to Dissemin: we only have access to the public part of your ORCID record. For instance, unless you have explicitly marked your email address as public, we do not even know your email address when you log in to Dissemin via ORCID.

What will you do to my ORCID profile if I log in?

Nothing. When you log in via ORCID to Dissemin, this does not grant us any permission to change anything in your ORCID record.

How do I add publications to my ORCID profile?

ORCID supports various methods to claim publications. Our preferred one is via CrossRef's search interface. Here is how to use it:

  • Go to CrossRef Metadata Search;
  • Click "Log in" in the top right corner and go through the ORCID login process;
  • Search for your publications, for instance by typing your name in CrossRef's search interface;
  • Add publications that are yours to your ORCID record by clicking "Add to ORCID".

In the future, we hope to enable you to do this from Dissemin itself.

Behind the scenes

Where do you get the data from?

Our sources are listed on this page.

How can I help?

There are many ways to get involved:

  • Encourage researchers to use this service.
  • Send us a list of researchers for your university or department so that we can set up an instance of Dissemin for your institution.
  • Help us translate the interface in your language.
  • Contribute to the code.
  • Fix any of our listed issues.
  • Star our github project!
  • Donations are accepted.

Where is the source code?

The source code is available on github.

Can I harvest your data?

Yes! We even have an API. If it does not suit your needs, tell us what you need.

Can I use the Dissemin logo to refer to the project?

Yes! See here for links to our logos and for explanations about how you can reuse them.

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