The project “Specialised Information Service Asia” (FID Asia) during the funding periods 2016-2018 and 2019-2021 aims to build up and reliably operate an information service geared to peak demand of German-based Asia-related research. Since 2016, the project provides significant impetus for the development of the CrossAsia portal. The three cooperation partners – Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Heidelberg University Library and the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University – are financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the project funding “Specialised Information Services Programme” (FID).


After the positive developments of the first project period (see below), the second project period’s (2019-2021) aim is to consolidate the information services and to further develop them as a service infrastructure for the German Asia-related studies. A second important aspect is the opening of FID Asia to various national and international collaborations. With so-called satellite projects we agreed upon in the project application – projects in cooperation with the FID Asia but with separate applications – we will test how the FID Asia can be developed into an infrastructural service provider, e.g. for the use of the infrastructure within the scope of digitisation projects and activities to describe and enhance the images with metadata.

Field of Activity 1: Profiled collection development

Collection development will continuously serve disciplinary, inter- and transdisciplinary as well as transregional research topics with relation to Asia. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin is responsible for the collection of material from and about East Asia, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. We will pay special attention to the countries of Southeast Asia in order to better meet the needs of the research community. We intend to expand our existing cooperation with the TIB Hannover – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and University Library and with the ZBW Kiel – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics. In addition, closer cooperation is planned with the SUB Göttingen – Göttingen State and University Library with regard to collection development of literature in Uyghur and Mongolian languages. Heidelberg University Library is responsible for the region South Asia.

Field of Activity 2: Electronic publishing in Open Access – CrossAsia E-Publishing

To respond to the researcher’s needs and requirements, we will design the electronic publishing services even more flexible as well as demand- and service-oriented. Finally, tools and solutions for all aspects of the academic publication process will be available in Open Access.

Field of Activity 3: Optimisation of information services

We will continue to enhance the CrossAsia Search with new search areas and by cooperation with other institutions. At the same time, we will test a new, regionally structured access to the CrossAsia platform in order to make the contents with relevance to South Asia or Southeast Asia more prominent, visible and tangible.

Field of Activity 4: Development of the Integrated Text Repository (ITR) infrastructure for cooperative work

In addition to scaling-up the CrossAsia Integrated Text Repository’s (CrossAsia ITR) content with more data, we will further develop the ITR into an infrastructure for digitisation and cataloguing projects for both textual and non-textual resources, and in particular for images. The aim is to provide satellite projects the opportunity to test the infrastructure, for example, for descriptive cataloguing of their data.

Field of Activity 5: Research data

In response to the explicit request of the academic community, FID Asia will focus on the topic research data and will develop and establish an information and consulting service for Asia-related research data. We will address both questions of researchers in Asia-related studies concerning use and application of research data and national activities in the context of e.g. RADAR and DARIAH-DE, as well as the recommendations of the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII) for research data, research data management and data curating issues.

Field of Activity 6: Academic communication and public relations

Communication with researchers and public relations remains to be a central part of our work. The scientific advisory board will also continue to monitor and support our work in the second project period.

Field of Activity 7: Project management, organisation and strategic development

On the one hand, this field of activity will deal with the project-internal organisation and controlling. On the other we will develop strategies for maintaining and consolidating the services – including the infrastructure necessary for the operation (personnel and technical) of these services – as well as strategies for a revised, distributed organisational structure, which also includes additional agreements and cooperation with other institutions.


In preparation for the first project period (2016-2018) of the FID 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.

During the first project period the FID Asia addresses the following fields of activity:

Field of Activity 1: Profiled collection development

The centerpiece of our work is the profiled development of the collection, by both comprehensive and forward-looking acquisition of printed material and constantly licensing and enlarging our electronic resources. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin is responsible for the collection of material from and about East Asia, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. Heidelberg University Library is responsible for the region South Asia. A new service offered is demand-oriented digitisation (Digitisation on Demand).

Field of Activity 2: Electronic Open Access publishing

The FID Asia – and CrossAsia – are committed to the idea of free access to research literature via the internet. Therefore we provide an Open Access publishing platform for the full range of electronic publishing services, the so-called CrossAsia E-Publishing. This service for magazines, monographs, electronic primary and secondary publications will be further developed and expanded in content with a view to promoting it as a recognised open access publishing platform.

Field of Activity 3: Optimisation of information services

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).

Field of Activity 4: Development of an infrastructure for meta and full-text data

The FID Asia – and CrossAsia – are open for new research approaches. Therefore CrossAsia 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 – e.g. via the Full-text Search – they might use the materials and services more efficiently, for example in fields such as digital humanities or social sciences.

Field of Activity 5: Academic communication and public relations

Given our constant commitment to improve communication with researchers and academic societies, public relations are central to our work. In 2016 a scientific advisory board has been 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.


The scientific advisory board supports the project CrossAsia – FID Asia strategically as well as in terms of content development; it helps to ensure the high quality of our developed services. The board has been established in 2016.







DGA – German Association for Asian Studies


“FID Asia” is a cooperation project of the following institutions:

For more cooperation partner as well as network activities of the FID Asia please visit this page.


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