MDC Library

MDC Library

Special scientific library

About us

The library is a specialized science library serving the staff of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. It collects, catalogues, and provides literature for the entire MDC community.

The literature in the library is oriented towards the areas of research that are dealt with at the MDC. Special emphasis of the collection is therefore placed on the literature of Molecular Medicine, and in accordance with particular research activities of the institution, also covers Medical Genetics, Cell Biology, Hypertension, Cardiology, Oncology, and Neuroscience.

Library has moved to house 64

The library has moved and is now located in house 64, ground floor. MDC members have access to the library via the keycard system.

Circulation policies and borrowing tips

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Access to the library is set up (through a magnetic card system) in such a way, that members of the MDC can comfortably use the facilities even outside regular operating hours.

For external library users, including those working on the Campus but not members of the MDC, the library acts as a reference library, and offers some its services within its working hours of Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Excluded are any third-party services provided by the library, and use of its inter-library loan system.

Borrowing of any library material is restricted to MDC staff members previously registered at the library. They see to it that, during office hours, any literature on loan is available for other users on short notice.

The loan system is restricted to monographs only, where books can be borrowed for up to four weeks. Journals, both bound and unbound, cannot be borrowed.

External users have no borrowing privileges, as all of the library holdings need to be at the disposal of the MDC staff at all times. These holdings are directly accessible in the open-stack magazines, so that users can help themselves to all books and periodicals, and therefore copy any article they wish on their own.

A card-operated copy machine with print- and scan function and a microfiche printer are at their disposal. Copy cards can be obtained at the lending desk, and are charged to the users' current accounts. They authorize their receipt with their signature.

Campus map


Library has moved to house 64

Detailed information ►

The library has moved and is now located in house 64, ground floor. Access is currently only available to MDC staff or MDC guests. If you visit the library, be sure to bring your MDC card to identify yourself. Further information on our intranet pages.

Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter

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99th Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter of August 9th, 2023

New video textbook "JoVE Core: Molecular Biology"

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Access to trial version of JoVE Core: Molecular Biology from now until 24/07/2021. In 11 chapters with 157 animated lessons and 33 videos, it demonstrates the molecular processes of the cell through clear and concise animated video lessons: from protein structure to gene expression. In addition, scientist-in-action videos demonstrate the application of these concepts through real experiments in modern laboratories

DEAL-contract with Springer Nature

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In January 2020 the second contract of Projekt DEAL was concluded with Springer Nature. The agreement is considered as the world’s largest transformative Open Access agreement to date. It enables all scientists in Germany to publish open access (oa) with Springer Nature and gives full reading access to the publisher’s journal portfolio.

If you are a corresponding author affiliated with the MDC (MDC cost center), you are entitled to publish your articles Open Access at no extra costs for you in more than 1,900 hybrid journals of Springer Nature (from January 2020). Nature journals (with the exception of Nature Communications) are not included in the DEAL contract.

The fees will completely be covered by the library of the MDC and are part of the German DEAL agreement. Publication fees for the more than 600 fully Open Access journals will continue to be covered by the open access publication fund of the library.

Access to journals without VPN/VDI

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MDC staff and guests working from home without VPN/VDI can access all licensed content by the following publishers via Shibboleth: Cell Press, Elsevier, Nature, NEJM, Oxford University Press, Portland Press, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Wiley. Please select the option "Sign in via your institution" or "Institutional Login" on the publisher's website and log in with your MDC credentials.

Free literature on COVID-19

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Many scientific publishers and platforms have made their publications on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 available free of charge or have expanded access to their contents, including Elsevier, Springer-Nature and Wiley.

DEAL contract with Wiley

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In January 2019, the scientific publisher Wiley and the Projekt DEAL signed the first contract for a nationwide publish&read model, which enables an improved provision of information and an expansion of open access publishing.

In the spirit of a successful open access transformation in Germany, this contract meets also the criteria of the European funding agencies organized in the cOAlition S. Project DEAL was set up by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany and includes nearly 700 academic institutions in Germany, among them also the Max Delbrück-Center (MDC).

The contract runs for a period of three years (2019-2021). Scientists of the MDC will get permanent reading access to all journals of Wiley and the possibility of open access publishing, at no extra costs for the authors. The MDC library will take over the full costs by an annual fee. The contract includes:

  • Perpetual access to the entire porfolio of electronic journals of Wiley (around 1700 titles) back to the publication year 1997.
  • Open access publishing of primary research and review articles at no charge for submitting corresponding authors of the MDC in gold open access and subscription journals. Concerning gold open access journals, nothing changes for MDC authors as the publication charges were already paid by the publication fund of the library. But we will receive a discount of 20% on Wiley’s list price of the publication charges.
  • Preservation of authors' rights, because the copyright will no longer be transferred to the publisher but remains with the authors. The articles will usually be published under a cc-by license (only a few journals are only available with a cc-by-nc and cc-by-nc-nd license).

Open Science

Open Science includes not only open access to scientific publications but also to research data, scientific software and other research products. Open Access means to get access to scientific results with a minimum of financial, technical and legal barriers.

The understanding of the term openness is based on the definition of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities - which the Helmholtz Association supported since 2003 as one of the initial signatories - and, in terms of an intelligent openness, takes into account the legitimate reasons to limit publicity.

The Helmholtz Association Working Group on open science represents by its members the fields of science, information technology, library and management of research data. Central tasks are to connect and to advise the actors of the Helmholtz-Association as well as to advance the further development of an open science strategy.

Open Science in the Helmholtz Association


The position of the MDC representative in this working group is currently open. On a commissarial basis, the MDC is represented by Wolf-Schröder Barkhausen (scientific documentalist in the library). He is the contact person for Open Access at the MDC.


Open Access

Open Access (OA) is the free online availability of digital content. It is best-known and most feasible for peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, which scholars publish without expectation of payment.

There are two roads to Open Access, with many variations. In Open Access Publishing, also known as the "golden" road to OA, journals make their articles openly accessible immediately on publication. One example of an Open Access publisher is the Public Library of Science (PLoS). Ways to find another OA journals is to check the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or Open J-Gate. In Open Access Self-archiving, also called the "green" road to OA, authors make copies of their own published articles openly accessible, generally in an institutional repository. Most publishers has already given its green light to author self-archiving and the author can check the list "Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving" on the SHERPA web site.

For publishers that do not offer copyright regulations for author self-archiving, the Legal Department and the Library of the Max Delbrueck Center recommends to include the following clause into the contract:

»Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine shall be entitled to make the article freely accessible to the general public on the Internet or in some other form at the time of publication (alternatively 3 or 6 months after publication of the article).«

Green road at the MDC

The MDC Library has implemented a document server for depositing and accessing publications by scientists from the Max Delbrueck Center free of charge. It thus complies with the "HGF Assembly of Members" demand for free access to scientific results. The implementation of Open Access at the MDC follows primarily the green road. This means that these fulltexts that are collected in the MDC publication database will be deposited additionally in the MDC institutional repository by the library staff (back to 2004).

In terms of quality assurance it will be used and archived only peer-reviewed postprints and no preprints.

Implementing Open Access bears a lot of advantages:

  • worldwide better perception of the MDC through retrieval of citations and fulltexts via Google and another search engines
  • broader distribution of research results of the MDC
  • increasing citation rate, because it is easier to get the fulltext (PLoS Biology 4(5):e176)
  • increasing name recognition of scientists as well as the MDC itself
  • scientists will have the continuing ability to publish their results in high-ranking journals

This PDF-file (445 K) separates the most preferred publishers by MDC authors.

In case of questions

To clarify legal obscurities in terms of author contracts and copyright regulations please refer to Kirstin Bodensiek.

Other aspects of Open Access like technical and practical issues will be answered by Wolf Schröder-Barkhausen. 


Additional Links


Robert-Rössle-Str. 10
Building 64
13125 Berlin


Phone: +49 30 9406 2150
Fax: +49 30 9406 3342


Opening hours

Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.


MDC members have access to the library via the keycard system.