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:

  • Zenodo, an innovative repository backed by the EU.
  • HAL, a French repository managed by the CCSD.

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 a profile on

Yes, you can do it, by first registering on ORCID if you do not have an ORCID identifier yet. This only takes a few seconds, and you can then use your ORCID identifier to log into Dissemin.

Policies and Full-text Availability

What do our policy classes mean?

We have the following five policy classes:

Class Description
Open access 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 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 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.
Policy unknown Policy unknown:
The full text is not available and could not evaluate if the publishers policy allows making the full text freely available.
Pre/post prints forbidden 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.
  • Because there are many researchers with the same name, some papers may be misattributed to a homonym.
  • 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 are not, for instance because they have been deleted.
  • All sorts of other technical issues.

Omissions and errors

One of my papers is missing. Why?

Please first check whether the paper is available in one of our sources. If it is not, Dissemin cannot harvest it, and you should report the problem to the source where it should appear. Note that it can take up to a couple of months for our primary sources to discover your latest papers and for Dissemin to harvest it.

Now, if your paper does appear in one of the sources but not on Dissemin, please check that your name is not spelt incorrectly on the source, and that the spelling matches your ORCID record. If there is a misspelling, again, you should report the problem to the source that contains the mistake.

If the name matches but the paper is not in Dissemin, then maybe one of your co-authors asked us to delete it? Or it may be a bug. In this case, please file an issue describing the problem, or send a message to

Note that, in the longer term, we hope to design a way for our users to edit their profiles on Dissemin to add missing papers and fix these problems; but we do not have such a system yet.

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

In most cases, the errors that you see on Dissemin have not been introduced by Dissemin, but are already present in the public sources that Dissemin harvests. Hence, please first check if the error that you have seen is already present in our data sources, by looking at the "Links" section in the top right of the page. If one of these pages contain the error, you should report the problem to them and not to us, otherwise the mistake will persist in the source.

If the error is not present in any of the sources and you believe that Dissemin may have introduced the problem, please file an issue with details of the problem, or send a message to Note that you cannot yet fix the problem yourself, although we hope in the longer term to develop a system to allow our users to edit details of their papers themselves.

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 deliberate, 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. Hence, 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, please search in BASE to check that your article is there. If it is, then this may be a bug of Dissemin; please file an issue describing the problem, or send a message to


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. Authentication with eduGAIN/Shibboleth only exposes to us the information that your identity provider is willing to transfer.

What is the difference between authentication via ORCID and eduGAIN?

If your identity provider sends Dissemin an ORCID, there is no difference in functionality, except that for some institutional repositories we can confirm that you are a member of the owning instution of the repository if you authenticate with eduGAIN---which may accelerate the publication process in the repository. If your identity provide does not transmit an ORCID, we can't associate your account with an ORCID profile.

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".

You can also add publications to your profile on Dissemin, by clicking the button "Include in my profile" in search results on Dissemin. (This button is only visible when you are logged in, and next to papers that Dissemin thinks you have authored.) You can also exclude articles from your profile in this way. Please note that these changes are local to Dissemin and are not propagated to your ORCID profile, because ORCID does not have a free API allowing us to propagate them.

My ORCID details on Dissemin are outdated.

If you change some details in your ORCID profile (name, homepage, etc.), the changes will not automatically be picked up in your profile on Dissemin. To update your profile on Dissemin accordingly, once you have logged in to Dissemin, you can go to your profile page and click "Refresh publications".

I authenticate with eduGAIN and ORCID, can I combine the accounts into one?

Based on the ORCID, Dissemin will automatically merge both accounts into one. This requires that your identity provider releases your ORCID. If your identity provider supports this functionality, you can add your ORCID in the user management of your identity provider.

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:

Where is the source code?

The source code is available on GitLab.

Can I harvest your data?

Yes! We even have an API. If it does not suit your needs, please don't hesitate to get in touch by writing to

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.