German National Library of Economics
Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften (ZBW)
Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften Logo.svg
ZBW außen.jpg
ZBW main building in Kiel
TypeNational library, Research library
ScopeEconomics, Finance, Business
LocationDüsternbrooker Weg 120, 24105 Kiel
Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, 20354 Hamburg
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[2]
DirectorKlaus Tochtermann
ZBW building, Hamburg
ZBW building, Hamburg
ZBW building interior, Kiel
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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[4]


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".[5][6]

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).[7][8][9]

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.[10][8]

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,[11] which provides guidance for literature and data searches in economics and business studies.[12]

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.[13]

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 WoldCat, OpenAire and EconBiz.[14]

The ZBW Journal Data Archive[15] 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.[16]

The ZBW publishes two journals of economic policy, Wirtschaftsdienst and Intereconomics.[17]

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.[13]

Wirtschaftsdienst, edited by the ZBW
Wirtschaftsdienst, edited by the ZBW


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,[32] the EU project MOVING,[24] 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".[33]

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.[32] 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)[34] offers opportunities for researchers, librarians, and experts in science policy to share applications, experiences and strategies around the complex of Open Science.[35]

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[36] 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.[37] The latest project in this context is German Research Data Infrastructure GeRDI,[18] 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.[38]

See also


  1. ^ a b Facts and figures about the ZBW retrieved 16-February-2017
  2. ^ Facts and figures about the ZBW retrieved 16-February-2017
  3. ^ "Who is the ZBW?". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  4. ^ a b "Leibniz Gemeinschaft: Institutes & Museums / ZBW". (in German). Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  5. ^ "History of the ZBW". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  6. ^ "Satzung der Stiftung "Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft (ZBW)"" (PDF). ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  7. ^ "DFG, German Research Foundation".
  8. ^ a b "Who is the ZBW?". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  9. ^ "Collection guidelines". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  10. ^ "Facts and figures". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  11. ^ "Research Guide EconDesk".
  12. ^ "About EconBiz". EconBiz – Find Economic Literature. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  13. ^ a b (ZBW), Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften. "Simply. Share. Research. ZBW". Simply. Share. Research. ZBW. Archived from the original on 2019-09-21. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  14. ^ "EconStor: About EconStor". Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  15. ^ "Welcome – ZBW Journal Data Archive".
  16. ^ "Welcome – ZBW Journal Data Archive". Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  17. ^ "Publishing of economic research". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  18. ^ a b "GeRDI – Generic Research Data Infrastructure".
  19. ^ GeRDI: MOVING retrieved 22-November-2016
  20. ^ "Mannheim UL: DFG-Projekt "Linked Open Citation Database (LOC-DB)"". Archived from the original on 2016-11-22. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  21. ^ LOC-DB: LOC-DB Archived 2016-11-22 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 22-November-2016
  22. ^ "ZBW raises more than one million Euros in third-party funds to research the digitisation of the science system". Archived from the original on 2019-09-21. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  23. ^ metrics: metrics Archived 2019-09-21 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 22-November-2016
  24. ^ a b "Home – MOVING project".
  25. ^ The German National Library of Economics: MOVING Archived 2020-08-01 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 22-November-2016
  26. ^ "Digital Reich Statistics". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  27. ^ "Digital preservation". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  28. ^ "Linked Open Data". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  29. ^ "Home :: da-ra". Archived from the original on 2019-11-18. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  30. ^ "dara". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  31. ^ da|ra. "Home :: da|ra". Archived from the original on 2019-11-18. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  32. ^ a b "Leibniz-Forschungsverbund Science 2.0".
  33. ^ "Cooperations".
  34. ^ "International Open Science Conference".
  35. ^ "ZBW Research". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  36. ^ "Register of Commission expert groups and other similar entities". Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  37. ^ "Profile Prof. Dr. Tochtermann". ZBW. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  38. ^ "GeRDI to be model of a linked research data infrastructure". ZBW Website. Archived from the original on 2019-09-22. Retrieved 2017-03-17.

Coordinates: 54°20′18″N 10°09′22″E / 54.3383°N 10.1561°E / 54.3383; 10.1561