ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences


As an information infrastructure in Germany and Europe, ZB MED is a central partner for the life sciences: from medicine to biodiversity to environmental protection. Based on literature collections and accesses, databases and research data, ZB MED supports researchers in gaining new information and insights - locally in Cologne and Bonn as well as nationwide. ZB MED offers digital value-added services and also provides training on numerous topics including data literacy and open science.  It applies bioinformatics and data science methods to gain new insights and develops novel services supporting and advancing life sciences research. A key topic is the development of text mining solutions for literature and clinical information extraction. Research is performed by the groups of  Prof. Dr. Ursula Arning, Prof. Dr. Juliane Fluck,  Prof. Dr. Konrad Förstner, Dr. Leyla Garcia-Castro and Prof. Dr. Dietrich Rebholz-Schuhmann.


ZB MED hosts several services including the literature search engine LIVIVO (https://livivo.de/), the publishing portal PUBLISSO (https://www.publisso.de/) and the semantic lookup service SemLookP (https://semanticlookup.zbmed.de).

LIVIVO  is an interdisciplinary discovery service for literature and information in the field of life sciences. It builds on relevant scientific information from the subject areas of medicine, health, nutrition, environmental and agricultural sciences. LIVIVO uses an index-based search engine featuring specially developed search technology. It looks for a search term in multiple sources simultaneously, searching through library catalogues, publisher directories and other key life science databases such as PubMed, AGRICOLA and AGRIS. Key features include automated linguistic enrichment and semantic linking of search terms using defined vocabulary specially tailored to the life science area.

PUBLISSO is an open access publishing platform for research articles, reviews, conference proceedings and “living” handbooks. In the repository of PUBLISSO, it is also possible to publish research data in the life sciences as single data or linked with a publication,  including  an embargo option. It aims at all researchers working in the field of life sciences who wish to make their work and research data freely accessible through open access publishing.

The semantic lookup service (SemLookP) supports metadata annotation as well as data search in the area of translational medicine. This service is based on software developed by EBI: the Ontology Lookup Service (OLS) and the mapping service Ontology Xref Service (OxO). SemLookP concentrates on key ontologies for meta data annotation of human, mouse and rat omics data as well as clinical data. Furthermore, it integrates terminologies for referencing genes, gene variants, mRNAs, miRNAs and proteins for the organisms mentioned above. Connections between the concepts in different vocabularies are provided by the mapping service. Thereby, SemLookP allows to annotate research data and literature in a FAIR way.

Project Management

ZB MED - Information Centre for Life Sciences
Gleueler Straße 60
50931 Cologne (Köln)

Dietrich Rebholz-Schuhmann (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)