The German Research Foundation supports the ongoing development of the Specialised Information Service for African Studies



The German Research Foundation supports the ongoing development of the Specialised Information Service for African Studies

The second funding phase for the years 2020 to 2022 has been granted

The University Library of the Goethe University in Frankfurt holds one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of Africa-related materials in the world. Since 2016, it houses the Specialised Information Service (SIS) for African Studies.

The continued support of the German Research Foundation (DFG) will enable the following services to be sustained (or, in some cases, established):

The acquisition of literature published on the African continent will continue to be a focus of the SIS for African Studies. This literature (including “grey” literature) is often difficult to acquire, but essential for African Studies in Germany as it allows for greater engagement with current academic debates on the continent.

  • In addition to acquisition via specialist suppliers, we will also be organising acquisition trips.
  • Over 1,000 e-books published in Africa will be licensed for the first time.
  • A digitisation on demand service will fulfil individual requests from researchers.

A comprehensive modernisation, an expansion of the search space and personalised functionalities are planned for the existing search portal ilissAfrica.

  • The switch to an index-based search and the integration of numerous German and European library holdings on African Studies will make the search more comprehensive and comfortable.
  • Open access documents from relevant worldwide repositories, including more than 100 repositories on the continent, will also be integrated into the search.
  • In addition, further information services will be integrated: the African Studies Toolbox, which provides regular information on best practices in research, information literacy and infrastructure developments, and a directory of German research and documentation centres on African Studies.

The SIS for African Studies cooperates with the Cluster of Excellence “Africa Multiple” at the University of Bayreuth with a focus on research data.

Through the renewal of the ilissAfrica portal, through information infrastructure coordination and support services, and by providing specialized literature from Africa, the Specialised Information Service for African Studies contributes to the sustainability of area studies subjects which form part of the German Federal Government’s strategy for international collaboration in academic research.