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”.