Licensing of databases with relevance to Asian studies is a very complex matter and so far exchange of information is neither organised among the institutes in Europe nor transparent. Only very few consortia exist, and if so, these are mostly founded on an ad hoc basis. To improve this situation a group of people from different institutions in Europe met in Berlin in June 2019 to think about and discuss how we could improve the situation by sharing information among ourselves, by supporting each other in negotiating licenses for Asia related databases (we mainly aim at those resources in Asian languages), and whether it would be possible to organise European consortia for such databases. Together this group wrote a short concept paper to form a common interest group (see right column). In addition we presented and discussed the licensing issue and proposal to form such an interest group at the European Association of Sinological Librarians (EASL) meeting in September 2019 in Oslo, because we wanted to start a pilot with Chinese language databases.

In Oslo we agreed that Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (CrossAsia) makes a proposal how to organize ourselves online and provides preliminary information on some databases for our pilot. Finally, we at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin set up a wiki and forum platform to share information and discuss potential licenses, consortia etc. among interested people. We would like to invite you to join us in the wiki and forum to create together this new “cooperative working space”.

Concept paper licensing interest group

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab


We use a wiki and forum for communication and exchange of information. There you can already find some information on databases that are already on the agenda, such as a daily newspaper (Renmin Ribao) or premodern texts (Unihan databases and Diaolong databases).

  • Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily): the license is already negotiated, you basically only need to join us and sign an agreement with the provider which is uploaded to the Wiki, provide your IP address, etc.
  • Unihan databases: test access, no additional licensing costs until end of 2020
  • Diaolong databases: we consider these as a starting point to test how we could create a consortium, to discuss who is interested in what content, what are the conditions for the license we could agree on etc. The list of possible licenses could be easily extended with other databases and resources.


You can find the European Asia Licensing Initiative wiki and forum space at:

Registration is a two-step procedure:

  1. In order to get an account you have to register at:
    Unfortunately this page is only in German, however I think you can manage to register an account. Please click on “Registrierung Account” and fill in your data like name (given, sur-), e-mail address, name of the institution you are working at, address etc. For “Dienste” please select “EALA”. Please accept the terms of use. Unfortunately these are not yet published since this is a very new service at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. If it is acceptable for you, please first accept the terms of use without being able to read them. As soon as these are published and if you do not agree to these terms of use, you can choose to delete your account in the account settings at any time.
  2. Please login once with your new account at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin’s project platform to create an account on this platform:
    After the login, we will provide access to your account to the EALI project’s wiki and forum pages. We will inform you via email as soon as you have access to the EALI project’s wiki and forum pages.

If you encounter any problems, please write an email to

Furthermore: In case we meet in our wiki and forum, please remember that all information, pricing, agreement terms and any details which are published or discussed between us are confidential. This is – at least during the process of the beginning of our new cooperation – our “internal & private working space” where we can exchange details about licensing activities and about pricing.

Hope to see you online!