German National Library of Economics

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German National Library of Economics
Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften (ZBW)
Deutsche Zentralbibliothek fur Wirtschaftswissenschaften Logo.svg
ZBW aussen.jpg
ZBW main building in Kiel
LocationDüsternbrooker Weg 120, 24105 Kiel
Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, 20354 Hamburg, Germany
Type National library, Research library
ScopeEconomics, Finance, Business
Items collectedbooks, journals, electronic media
Size4.43 million items [1]
27,119 journal titles
Access and use
Population servedresearchers, business clients, students, public
Other information
Budget€22.56 million [1]
Director Klaus Tochtermann
Employees280 [1]
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Red pog.svg
ZBW Kiel
Red pog.svg
ZBW Hamburg
German National Library of Economics
German National Library of Economics Kiel
German National Library of Economics
General information
AddressDüsternbrooker Weg 120, 24105 Kiel
Coordinates 54°20′18″N10°09′22″E / 54.3383°N 10.1561°E / 54.3383; 10.1561
Other information
Public transit accessBus 41/42 Institut für Weltwirtschaft
German National Library of Economics Hamburg
German National Library of Economics
General information
AddressNeuer Jungfernstieg 21, 20354 Hamburg
Coordinates 53°33′26″N9°59′33″E / 53.55716°N 9.99263°E / 53.55716; 9.99263
Other information
Public transit access
ZBW building, Hamburg Hamburg Deutsche Zentralbibliothek fur Wirtschaftswissenschaften 01.jpg
ZBW building, Hamburg
ZBW building interior, Kiel ZBW Innenraum.jpg
ZBW building interior, Kiel

The National Library of Economics (ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics) is the world's largest research infrastructure for economic literature, online as well as offline. The ZBW is a member of the Leibniz Association and has been a foundation under public law since 2007. Several times the ZBW received the international LIBER Award for its innovative work in librarianship. [2] The ZBW allows for access of millions of documents and research on economics, partnering with over 40 research institutions to create a connective Open Access portal and social web of research. [3] Through its EconStor and EconBiz, researchers and students have accessed millions of datasets and thousands of articles. The ZBW also edits two journals: Wirtschaftsdienst and Intereconomics . [3]



The German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) was founded on 1 February 1919 as a department of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. As a research library it has been able to keep its holdings entirely intact. In 1966, the ZBW received the status of a central subject library for economics in Germany, and was admitted to the joint funding system of the Federal and Länder Governments. The ZBW has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1990. In 2007, the ZBW was separated from the Kiel Institute and established as an independent foundation under public law. At the same time it integrated the library of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics and became the publisher of the journals Wirtschaftsdienst and Intereconomics. Since 2007, the ZBW has two branches in Kiel and Hamburg. Since 2012, it maintains off-site stacks in Flintbek. Application-oriented research in computer and information science was established in 2010. In 2014, the German Library Association (DBV) honoured the ZBW as Library of the Year, calling it "a radically modern library whose customer and innovation orientation can serve as a model for other libraries". [4] [5]

Collection mandate

The ZBW is Germany's central subject library and research infrastructure for economics in Germany. Its mandate is to acquire, to index, and to archive theoretical and empirical literature and subject-specific information from economics and business studies, and to provide access to these materials to the general public on a national basis. The ZBW also acquires all publications from closely related and auxiliary disciplines focussing on economics, in order to accommodate the increasing tendency towards interdisciplinary work in economic research.

The ZBW is part of the system of national literature provision within the German Research Foundation (DFG). [6] [7] [8]

Library holdings

The ZBW holds almost 4.4 million items. The ZBW subscribes to more than 27,100 journals and enables access to 2.3 million electronic documents. The search portal EconBiz gives free access to 10 million datasets. More than 134,000 full-texts (working papers, articles from journals, conference proceedings) from German research institutes and universities are available online and free of charge on the repository EconStor. [9] [7]

The ZBW creates content-descriptive metadata not only for books, but also for articles in journals and working papers, i.e. they are indexed with keywords (descriptors) from the Standard Thesaurus for Economics.


The ZBW maintains the search portal EconBiz containing more than 10 million datasets of bibliographic references for economics and business studies. The ZBW also offers an online reference service, Research Guide EconDesk, [10] which provides guidance for literature and data searches in economics and business studies. [11]

The ZBW is an active player in the Open Access movement which aims for free access to scholarly research output. It is the chief negotiator for national licences in economics in Germany. [12]

The repository EconStor serves as a platform for the free publication of research output in economics. Authors and publishing institutions can publish without charges on EconStor.

More than 400 institutions use EconStor for the digital dissemination of their publications in Open Access. It is an input service for RePEc and one of its most frequently used archives. All titles in EconStor are indexed by search engines such as Google, Google Scholar and BASE, and distributed to databases such as WorldCat, OpenAire and EconBiz. [13]

The ZBW Journal Data Archive [14] is a service for the editors of scholarly journals in economics. Editors can deposit datasets and other material relating to empirical articles and provide access to them in order to enable reproducibility of published research findings. [14]

Wirtschaftsdienst, edited by the ZBW Wirtschaftsdienst logo.gif
Wirtschaftsdienst , edited by the ZBW

The ZBW publishes two journals of economic policy, Wirtschaftsdienst and Intereconomics . [15]

The ZBW also provides support for researchers dealing with the different aspects of the digitisation of the science system, such as publishing in Open Access or research data management. [12]


The ZBW participates in national and international projects to develop new services for its users.

Networks and cooperations

In order to meet the challenges resulting from the technological changes in information provision, the ZBW relies on a global network. It has signed cooperation agreements with national and international research institutions, for instance in the context of the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0, [29] the EU project MOVING, [21] and in numerous DFG-funded projects.

The ZBW is also actively engaged in the community of information infrastructure providers, for instance in the working groups of the Leibniz Association, the Common Library Network, LIBER, nestor and the Priority Initiative "Digital Information". [30]

Research at the ZBW

The ZBW carries out application-oriented research in computer and information science. Three professors work with an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers on the subject of Open Science / Science 2.0.

Open Science / Science 2.0 describes the changes that the World Wide Web and its numerous Web 2.0 applications engender in the research and publication processes of the science system, which are the subject of research at the ZBW. In 2013, the ZBW initiated the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0. [29] This Europe-wide cooperation of infrastructure providers and research institutes wants to establish the topic of Open Science in the scholarly community.

The goal is to provide open access to, and use of, scientific findings and processes. An annual international conference (Open Science Conference) [31] offers opportunities for researchers, librarians, and experts in science policy to share applications, experiences and strategies around the complex of Open Science. [32]

Activities in science policy

The ZBW not only researches the digital shift, it also actively shapes it through its national and international activities in science policy. The director of the ZBW is an active proponent of Open Science as a member of the High Level Expert Group [33] promoting the European Open Science Cloud. He is a member of the G7 Open Science Working Group and the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures, which is part of the Digital Agenda of the Federal Government. All these bodies prioritise the development of an integrated research data infrastructure across disciplines and countries. [34] The latest project in this context is German Research Data Infrastructure GeRDI, [16] which has been initiated in 2016 and is coordinated by the ZBW. It creates cross-disciplinary links between infrastructures for research data and thus new opportunities for multidisciplinary research. [35]

See also

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