gms | German Medical Science

information platform

Germany, Land of Ideas

Deutsche Initiative für Netzwerkinformation (DINI, German Initiative for Network Information)


1. Aims and responsibilities

The portal German Medical Science (GMS) is the interdisciplinary portal of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF). Developed in cooperation with the German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) and the German National Library of Medicine (ZB MED) it offers open access to peer-reviewed medical articles. The portal German Medical Science offers all scientists from the field of medicine the possibility to publish their research results online within journals, meeting proceedings and research reports.

GMS aims at making available peer-reviewed medical articles and research data in Open Access. Within the bounds of its technical and organizational facilities, GMS commits:

  • to provide a sustainable and open access to the publications
  • to archive the documents on a long-term basis and to record and provide it within the databases of DIMDI
  • to ensure their citeability via persistent identifiers
  • to disseminate the publications via national and international databases

2. Open Access policy and Copyright

All publications within the GMS portal are published Open Access under a Creative Commons license. They can be copied, distributed and transmitted under the conditions that they are properly attributed with author and source. As of 2015 the articles are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (license information at The specific license is indicated with each article.

As creator of the work, the author retains his intellectual property right. He only transfers the basic, non-exclusive right to online publication and to electronic storage in databases. For more information, please read the author's contract of German Medical Science.

3. Technical maintenance, long-term availability and security

DIMDI is technical provider of the platform GMS. The permanent and free accessibility of the documents is intended. Subject to a general change of the preconditions of the services of DIMDI, the minimum period of accessibility is five years. In justified cases, access can be restricted locally (e.g. restriction or exclusion of IP ranges) or temporarily. A strategy for digital long-term archiving of the GMS contents is currently being developed by a project within Goportis in a national context. Via the Goportis network, GMS is also connected to international initiatives in the field of long-term archiving. Each document receives distinct persistent identifiers (URN - Uniform Resource Name and DOI - Digital Object Identifier) in order to make permanent and location-independent referencing possible. Should alterations to a document be necessary, they will be visibly documented by errata. In case of retractions, the metadata of the retracted article stay visible at the original location.

4. Indexing and coverage by databases

The documents are recorded bibliographically by structured metadata according to the Dublin Core standard in XML format. They are published within the GMS Portal under and made searchable via the databases of DIMDI. The structure of the databases is documented under und Intellectual subject indexing by keywords in German and English language will normally be carried out by the author.

The documents will be covered by several national and international databases and search engines, e.g. DOAJ, MEDLINE, MEDPILOT, PubMed Central (subject to their compliance with the admission criteria of the individual databases). 

5. Publication types and user groups

The portal contains three sections:

1. Journals:
Within the GMS journals, peer-reviewed articles from different medical areas are published. “GMS German Medical Science - an Interdisciplinary Journal” as electronic journal of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF) publishes interdisciplinary research and review articles from the whole field of medicine. The subject-specific journals edited by individual societies publish scientific research and review articles from the respective field under separate titles. Quality control is carried out by the editing society. For the submission and peer review processes, GMS provides an online manuscript management system. Technical formatting and editing of accepted manuscripts is carried out with a special software by the editorial offices of the individual societies or by the GMS editorial office. There are no special requirements regarding layout or formatting of submitted manuscripts. The author's guidelines for each journal can be found on the journal websites.
GMS is open for launching new or resuming existing medical journals.
2. Meetings:
This section contains abstracts, proceedings and reports of scientific medical conferences and meetings. The documents are published after conclusion of an agreement with the hosting society. The society is responsible for quality control as well as the structural design of the publication. The documents are collected by an online tool provided by GMS, the societies or their organizing partner and published by the GMS editorial office.
3. Research Reports:
At the moment, this section comprises the report series "Health Technology Assessment" edited by DIMDI.

6. Business model and publication fees

In order to ensure the sustainability of the GMS portal, a business model has been developed. The costs for peer review, editorial office, hosting and archiving are in part covered by publication fees. These fees are normally payed by the editing societies. They depend on the number of articles and the amount of editorial work necessary to publish them.