What can Research Guide EconDesk do for me?

Research Guide EconDesk supports you individually in your search for literature and facts in economics and business studies.
Ask us via e-mail, chat, phone or visit the ZBW (in Kiel or Hamburg) in person.
We advise you individually
and without charge

Which questions can I put?

We answer questions on literature search and library services, and support you with your individual data search in economics and business studies, e.g. with the search for statistical data, information on companies and institutions, biographical information, country information, definitions of terms, translation of terms from English to German, explanation of acronyms and abbreviations and general information from encyclopedias.
If you make an appointment for a visit to Research Guide EconDesk, you will receive an introduction to literature search regarding your individual topic, in the ZBW in Kiel or Hamburg.

How much does it cost?

Research Guide EconDesk is free of charge.

Who can use Research Guide EconDesk?

Everyone who wants to ask questions concerning economics and business studies is welcome to use Research Guide EconDesk. You do not need a user card of the ZBW. We answer questions in German and in English.

At what times is Research Guide EconDesk available?

E-mail can be used around the clock.
Chat is available Monday to Friday from 9:00h to 16:30h (CET).
Phone is available Monday to Friday from 9:00h to 16:30h (CET).
In person: Appointments for introductions to literature search on site in the ZBW in Kiel or Hamburg can start Monday to Friday between 9:00h and 16:00h (CET). Please suggest a time and date in the e-mail form.

When will I receive an answer?

Questions that are put via e-mail (and questions that are put via chat or telephone but cannot be answered immediately) will be answered as quickly as possible, at the latest within 48 hours (Monday to Friday).

How does Research Guide EconDesk ensure the quality of answers?

Information for answering your question is taken from the stock of reference works and databases of the ZBW, free databases and websites that have been selected for quality and factual content, and the general library stock.
Research Guide EconDesk staff are familiar with databases and literature search as well as with the internet. They check internet resources by using a catalogue of criteria to assess and ensure the quality and suitability for academic work. 

What is QuestionPoint?

QuestionPoint is a software that renders the administration of chat and e-mail reference services easier. QuestionPoint is used in libraries all over the world. All questions you send to Research Guide EconDesk are processed with the software QuestionPoint. Your questions are saved on the QuestionPoint server in the USA.  

What happens to the personal data I provide in the webforms?

Your personal data (name, e-mail address) are used by the ZBW – in accordance with German data protection regulations – exclusively to provide this information service.
The ZBW uses the software QuestionPoint of the company OCLC to handle your questions. Therefore data will be transferred to servers of OCLC in the USA. This data transfer is performed on the basis of the “standard contractual clauses for the transfer of personal data to third countries” of the European Union. Please be aware that the level of data protection in third countries might differ from German and EU standards.
Your e-mail address and your name will be separated from your question on the OCLC server after 90 days. However, they remain stored on the OCLC server. For the name field, we recommend the use of pseudonyms. Any information you enter into the question field is also stored on the OCLC server. We therefore recommend that you provide personal data ONLY in the corresponding fields. By submitting your question, you agree to these terms. If you do not agree, please phone us.

How can I complain about answers?

Research Guide EconDesk only answers questions about the services of the ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics as well as questions on literature and data search in economics and business studies.
We cannot always provide an answer from our resources. We aim to provide punctual, up-to-date information individually tailored to your request.
Should we fail to do this, should there have occurred a misunderstanding, or should you not be entirely satisfied with an answer from Research Guide EconDesk for some other reason, we will be glad to try again after a clarification.
Please send us your complaint within 21 days after the receipt via our feedback form.
For processing your complaint please quote the ID of your question. You will find the ID in the subject line of the answer e-mail.
Please note that chat transcripts and e-mail requests for information are deleted from our system or anonymised after 90 days.
We will be glad to receive your feedback concerning research Guide EconDesk.