Service Level Agreement

Service Level Agreement


Agreement for the regulation of the contractual relationship between GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for Social Sciences as one of the operators of the registration agency da|ra and the publication agent XX within the DOI registration on the basis of the general terms and conditions of the currently effective da|ra policy, which forms part of this SLA. GESIS informs the publication agent concerning changes in the da|ra policy within reasonable time. The effective da|ra policy can be retrieved through the internet presence of da|ra (currently



a) yyy

[GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for Social Sciences, da|ra (Registration agency for social and economic data)
68159 Mannheim
represented by the president of GESIS, Prof. Dr. Christof Wolf]

[ZBW - German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Center for Economics
Düsternbrooker Weg 120
24105 Kiel
represented by Prof. Dr. Klaus Tochtermann, director of ZBW]

(below named "da|ra")




(below named "XX")

represented by

the following Service Level Agreement (SLA) is concluded.

Description of services

  1. da|ra offers a DOI registration service and a metadata administrative service for digital objects, in particular files with research data via the technical interface of DataCite (

  2. This encompasses in detail:
    1. the provision of the technical infrastructure for the allocation of DOI names to the objects and for the registration at the International DOI Foundation (IDF)

    2. provision of one or more DOI prefix

    3. provision and development of the metadata schema

    4. option for collecting and editing of metadata

    5. transmission of the core metadata to the IDF

    6. storage of the metadata and transmission to the Metadata Store of DataCite

    7. support and control of the DOI registration process
  3. The allocation of DOI names to the objects is carried out automatically after the successful transmission of the metadata to the da|ra information system. da|ra provides a metadata schema, which has been aligned with DataCite, and several alternatives for the acquisition of the required metadata. The effective metadata schema is retrievable through the internet presence of da|ra (currently

  4. XX uses for registration the web service, XML upload and/or the web based entry mask provided by da|ra.

  5. da|ra arranges access to the registration service for XX via a specified user account.

  6. Should technical problems with the operation of the registration service occur, da|ra will inform XX within one work day after it becomes known. If it is foreseeable that server operations must be interrupted, da|ra will inform XX about it at least five work days before the necessary interruption occurs.

  7. da|ra generally arranges for a daily backup at a second server in order to warrant the data integrity.

DOI Naming and granularity

  1. XX registers objects on
    [study level. I. e. one DOI name can be linked with several data sets of a certain study.]
    [data set level]
    [article level]
    Revisions of the granularity are feasible according to prior agreement with da|ra.

  2. XX receives the DOI-prefix "10.yyyyy"

  3. [XX suggests the following structure of the suffix: /…]
    [The suffix will be generated automatically by da|ra.]

  4. Every suffix has to be biunique within the prefix.

  5. The domain(s) under which XX will register objects is/are:

    […] […] …

    The URLs for all landing pages have to come from this domain.
    da|ra has to be informed about changes to the domain.

Technical interfaces and workflow

  1. After the conclusion of the SLA XX receives login rights for the access to the internal domain of the da|ra website (currently

  2. XX transfers per object a validated set of metadata (according to the effective metadata schema) using the XML upload service, the web service or the web based entry mask which can be accessed through the internal domain of the da|ra website. The metadata may contain a proposal for the DOI name (“DOI Proposal”). In case XX do not provide a DOI proposal the DOI name will be generated by da|ra automatically.

  3. da|ra registers the DOI name with recourse to the technical system of DataCite, the International DOI Foundation and the Handle System.

  4. da|ra creates a log entry for the registration procedure of the DOI name.

  5. XX receives rights of access to edit the metadata of the registered objects via the web service, XML upload and/or web based entry mask.

Metadata provision and updates

  1. For every object which has been registered via da|ra with a DOI name XX has to create metadata according to the da|ra metadata schema. XX commits to provide metadata sets in XML format according to the metadata schema effective at the moment of the data transmission.

  2. XX is solely responsible for the timeliness and accuracy of the URL. Changes concerning the URL are to be updated in the da|ra system within three work days.

  3. XX may choose to update the metadata via the web service, XML upload and/or web based entry mask.

Warranty and liability

  1. da|ra takes responsibility for the provision of the technical infrastructure for the DOI registration as well as for the storage and search of the metadata stored in the system.

  2. da|ra commits to the secure and long-term operation of the server. da|ra endeavours to fix malfunctions of the GESIS server or technical errors which result from the DOI registration and resolution and which occur within their sphere of influence as soon as possible.

  3. da|ra assumes no responsibility for the undisturbed operation of the technical systems of DataCite, the IDF, the Handle System as well as the availability of the internet. da|ra is not liable for claims which evolve from malfunctions of these services.

  4. da|ra reserves the right to temporarily interrupt server operations due to urgent internal reasons and aims to minimize the down time (at most three work days running).

  5. da|ra will not be obligated to verify if rights of a third party are violated through the DOI registration. XX ensures that all required rights for the registration are existent. In particular da|ra is not liable for the legality of the object retrieval and accessibility.

  6. The contracting parties are liable without limitation for claims through injury to life, body or health against each other. Beyond that the contracting parties are liable only for intent and gross negligence against each other. If an obligation is breached whose fulfillment is indispensable for the proper execution of the contract and on whose observance the contracting party may regularly rely (essential obligation), the parties are also liable for slight negligence. In case of slight negligence, however, the liability for breaching an essential obligation is limited to the damage which may be typically expected during the execution of this agreement.

Regulation of use

  1. XX includes the information about the DOI name in their recommended citation standard and publishes this recommendation in a way clearly visible to the user.

Cost model

  1. The DOI registration is free of charge.

  2. amendment of the cost model on the part of da|ra will be announced at least three months in advance. In case the cost model is amended, notice of termination may be given with immediate effect by the publication agent.
    In case of continuance of the SLA the contracting parties come to an agreement about the modalities of the account and payment prior to the new cost model coming into effect (e. g. billing, maturity, accounting period).

Notice of termination

  1. This SLA comes into effect on the day of its signing and is valid till 31st December 20___. Afterwards it is extended by one year at a time, unless one party gives notice of termination with a time limit of three months to the end of each calendar year.

  2. According to the da|ra policy XX can continue to use the acquired prefix with the DOI registering via another DataCite member after the notice of termination. DOI names already registered via da|ra are to be maintained further through the publication agent. For this purpose the options/settings available within the framework of DataCite may be used.

  3. The right of termination for good cause will remain unaffected by this. A reason for a termination for good cause is in particular existent,

    • if one of the partners materially breaches one of its essential obligations, or
    • if insolvency or receivership proceedings against one of the parties of this SLA are filed.

Final provisions

  1. Both partners name contact persons who coordinate the details of the execution of the services. For this purpose a list will be compiled in appendix 1 of the SLA.

  2. Variations and amendments to this SLA shall be in writing in order to be legally binding. This clause may only be amended by written agreement.

  3. Appendix 1 is part of this SLA.

  4. If clauses in this SLA are not feasible or implemented, the remaining clauses will continue to be valid and remain unaffected. These are to be interpreted, altered or amended in such a manner that the spirit and purpose of this SLA is accomplished at the best. This is also valid in case of omissions during the implementation of the SLA which were not anticipated by the partners.

  5. The place of fulfillment and jurisdiction for all claims concerning this SLA is [Mannheim][Kiel] /Germany.

  6. This SLA is subject to the law of the Federal Republic of Germany and is to be interpreted correspondingly.



This is an English version of the German language original agreement; in case of doubt the German wording is authoritative.