CrossAsia is designed as a central access point for scientific information on Asian studies. The portal has been set up by the East Asia Department of Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library) and is being further developed with our cooperation partners, the South Asia Institute and Heidelberg University Library. CrossAsia is partly funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) and its Specialised Information Service Programme (Fachinformationsdienste für die Wissenschaft, FID).
CrossAsia offers access to research information for humanities and social sciences from Asian countries and about Asia. Academic fields covered by the service range from philology, history, political science and economics to ethnology and regional studies. Regardless of the form of publications, CrossAsia integrates the bibliographic description of printed and electronic resources. CrossAsia supports Asian Studies by providing access to an ever-growing range of licensed full-text databases that are accessible on a nationwide scale. CrossAsia also provides access to the State Library's digitised holdings of Asia-related rare and old books which are presented in our Digital Library.
CrossAsia gives special attention to the retrievability of information available in different Asian writing systems such as Chinese characters and other. CrossAsia Search provides central access to national and international library catalogues. Within CrossAsia numerous library catalogues and databases are simultaneously accessible; researchers do not need to check several sources with differing user interfaces.
Furthermore, the module CrossAsia Campus provides users with an individualised access to this complex pool of different resources. It allows users to configure workspaces for individual projects and to establish platforms for national and international workgroups in order to jointly work with CrossAsia resources and other individual materials despite a physical distance.
Throughout the three-year funding period (2016-2018) of the project "CrossAsia – Specialised Information Service Asia" the services will be constantly improved and additional services developed. In preparation for the present project, the Virtual Library "Savifa" (South Asian Studies), run by the University of Heidelberg, was merged with CrossAsia in Berlin (East- and Southeast Asian Studies) as early as August 2015.
In the coming years CrossAsia will address the following fields of activity:
The centerpiece of our work remains the profiled development of the collection, by both comprehensive and forward-looking acquisition of printed material and constantly licensing and enlarging our electronic resources. A new service now offered is demand-oriented digitisation (Digitisation on Demand).
CrossAsia is committed to the idea of providing free access to research literature via the internet. Therefore an Open Access publishing platform – for magazines, monographs, electronic primary and secondary publications – will complement CrossAsia with a full range of electronic publishing services in Open Access. This service, called CrossAsia ePublishing, will be further developed and expanded in content with a view to promoting CrossAsia as a recognised open access publishing platform.
A major concern is the improvement of information services, in particular CrossAsia Search. The ranking of search results shall be steadily improved and the results be presented in a contextualised way. Moreover, users will be able to create their individual CrossAsia information profile and directly influence our acquisitions by using the search function (Patron Driven Acquisition).
CrossAsia is open for new research approaches. Therefore CrossAsia plans to set up a technical platform for meta and full-text data. The objective of the platform is to provide CrossAsia with the means necessary to manage licensed electronic texts in a more transparent way. By offering CrossAsia users access to these data they might use the materials and services more efficiently, for example in fields such as digital humanities or social sciences.
Given our constant commitment to improve communication with researchers and professional organisations, public relations are central to our work. In 2016 a scientific advisory board will be established in order to shape the future work of CrossAsia. Established services such as CrossAsia trainings, provided on-site at various university institutions or via the Internet, will be improved and supplemented with new features.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for suggestions or questions.
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