The ZBW – German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics is the world’s largest specialist library for economics, with more than four million publications in printed or electronic format and subscriptions to more than 26.000 periodicals and journals. The ZBW collects economics literature and subject-specific information from all over the world as well as books, journals and digital media from management practice.
The German National Library of Economics procures economic literature and subject specific information from all over the world. The ZBW makes them available to users by interlibrary lending and document delivery as well as by local lending and uses them as the basis of its sophisticated online information services. Within this context, the ZBW is among the leading Information Centres for developing and applying the latest semantic technologies and Web 2.0 technologies for highly innovative information services. These leading-edge technologies are developed in collaboration with internationally renowned research institutes in information technology from all over the world. The ZBW is also a WTO depositary library and maintains a European Documentation Centre at both locations, in Kiel and Hamburg.
Besides various document delivery and consulting services, the ZBW offers EconBiz as a single point of access to the world’s economics literature and information, the database ECONIS with more than five million datasets and the reference service EconDesk which provides brief facts from economics via e-mail, telephone or chat. With EconStor, the ZBW offers a platform for Open Access publishing to German researchers in economics. These online services are available to the scientific community, policy makers, decision makers and the public worldwide and without charge at www.zbw.eu.
The ZBW is also an active partner in several national and international projects and cooperations. Among these are the cooperation with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy on the Open Access Journal “Economics” or the international cooperation within the Network of European Economists Online (NEEO).
The German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Centre for Economics was founded in 1919 and has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1966.
It is a foundation under public law, financed by the Federal and State governments, and invests more than €2.4 million every year into the acquisition of current economics titles. More than 250 staff are employed at both branches of the library in Kiel and Hamburg.
The Research Data Center of the Socio-Economic Panel Study (FDZ-SOEP) at DIW Berlin offers comprehensive services and coordinates access to the data of SOEP, the largest longitudinal household survey in Germany.
The de facto anonymized data are made available for scholarly analysis. Standardized means of data access are provided (scientific use files, research stays at DIW Berlin, teleprocessing).
Interested researchers can, upon request, conclude the data use contract that forms the precondition for using the scientific use files distributed on DVD. Furthermore, the SOEP Research Data Center supports methodological training at universities through lectures and workshops. A guest program allows for on-site data use at the Research Data Center, particularly the regional data, which are defined as sensitive under data protection legislation. As a special service, the SOEP Research Data Center advises researchers who want to use SOEP as reference data or a control sample for their own studies.
The work of the SOEP Research Data Center is based on the Criteria of the German Data Forum (RatSWD). Financing is provided to for the Research Data Center, as an infrastructure facility for scholarly research, through the Leibniz Association upon decision by the Joint Science Conference.
The German Data Forum (RatSWD) is an independent body of empirical re-searchers from universities, colleges and other institutions of independent scientific research, as well as representatives of important data producers. It was estab-lished by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in 2004. The goal of the RatSWD is to sustainably improve the research data infrastructure underlying empirical research and contribute to its competitive ability on an international level. An evaluation carried out by the German Council of Science and Humanities showed that the RatSWD has succeeded in opening up and improving access to existing data and in creating an increased synergy between science and data producers.
The RatSWD has established itself as an institution of exchange and of mediation between the interests of science and data producers and therefore an important platform for communication and coordination. With regard to standardization and quality control of data and the further development of research data centers and data service centers, the RatSWD plays an important role in the social, economic and behavioral sciences by performing an advisory function, initiating new developments and securing quality.
Core tasks of the RatSWD are the following:
- Making recommendations on how to further secure and improve data access, especially by means of establishing, standardizing and continually evaluating research data centers and data service centers,
- Making recommendations on how to improve the use of data by means of providing adequate documentation and scientific and statistical data (research data portals, metadata),
- Consulting of scientific institutions and organizations on how to incorporate infrastructure data into teaching and research,
- Making recommendations on research subjects and tasks, which pertain to the conceptual development of a data infrastructure on the national, European and international level,
- Making recommendations on how to make the production and provision of data, relevant to social research, more efficient,
- Consulting the Federal Ministry and the corresponding Länder governments on the further development of a sciencebased data infrastructure,
- Consulting public (and private) data producers,
- Consulting data producers on the validation of scientific research institutions (certification) that are not institutionally part of independent scientific research,
- Preparation and realization of the Conference for Social and Economic Data (Konferenz für Wirtschafts- und Sozialdaten, KSWD)
In all of its work, the RatSWD pays regard to current discussions that promote sustainable development, as well as the equal social participation of women and men.
About the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
As of March 1st 2013 the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law has established a new economics-oriented research department. In addition, as of January 2014 the institute is renamed in “Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition” due to the establishment of the new economic department.
The new department engages in exploring and analyzing the determinants, outcomes and the management of innovation and entrepreneurship processes in close cooperation with researchers from the already existing departments.
Innovation processes are phenomena of high economic, social and political importance. Scientific progress and innovations can considerably contribute to improve people’s quality of life, to raise productivity growth in the economy, and to increase the wealth of a country. Therefore research and innovation policy has become a highly important policy area in many countries. Researchers at the MCIER analyze which options for action political decision-makers have, for example through the creation of framework conditions, the design of IPR systems and the use of instruments of research and innovation policy.
Innovations enable firms to gain competitive advantages. In a globalized economy, both for-profit companies and other organizations feel exacting pressure to innovate, that is, to develop and put into operation new products, services, processes of production, and forms of organization. Researchers at the MCIER analyze the effects of different approaches in innovation management.
Increasingly citizens are immediately involved in innovation processes. In the formulation of innovation policy they are engaged in civil dialogues, but also actively participate in the design of innovations – for example within communities or through participation in funding start-up companies via crowd-financing. These new forms of innovation processes and their design are also studied at the MCIER.
Though targeted innovation policy and successful innovation management are hindered by various forms of uncertainty, innovation is not a random process, but follows certain rules and regularities. Analyzing and understanding the patterns and structure of innovation through empirical and theoretical research provides valuable insights for the use in politics, management and society.