ZBW strategy 2022 – 2026: Contextualising, researching, shaping digitisation

ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics positions itself as a research-based information infrastructure for future economics with a new comprehensive strategy

Kiel/Hamburg, 16. December 2021: Four strategic priorities are at the core of the “Strategy 2022 – 2026” of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics: (1) to contextualise digitisation, (2) to research digitisation, (3) to shape digitisation and (4) to qualify for digitisation. In its strategy, the ZBW combines excellent market and user knowledge, research and development in the area of Open Science, continuous service innovation, and pro-active shaping of the Open Access transformation in economics. The vision: modern information provision in economics.

The digitisation of scholarly research and publishing processes is both an opportunity and a challenge for the science system. On the one hand it allows scientists to make all research findings from the scientific process openly accessible and reusable, and thus to improve their quality. On the other hand, all actors in the science system are facing new challenges. The business models of known actors in the market and of service providers are changing continually. On top of this, new markets are arising – for instance in the field of research data – and unknown actors are entering the market.

Against this background, the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics has framed its “Strategy 2022 – 2026”. The aim is to be an active participant in the digitisation of research und publishing processes in economics, and to offer innovative services for information provision in economics.

The ZBW has set four closely-linked strategic priorities to achieve this goal:

(1) Contextualising digitalisation

It is of the utmost importance to the ZBW to contextualise as best as possible the digitisation in economics, and its concomitant scientific processes, methods and tools, so it can fulfil its mission. This knowledge is the basis that enables the ZBW to align essential areas of activity in a world of hybrid working cultures. The “Strategy 2022 – 2026” defines areas of activity to achieve this deep understanding sustainably.

(2) Researching digitisation

Digitisation quickens the transformation of the science system towards more openness: Open Science. To be an active participant in the shaping of this transformation, the ZBW conducts multiperspectival research in the field of Open Science with five professorships. This application-oriented research aims to increase the innovativeness of present ZBW services and to develop new services. The “Strategy 2022 – 2026” outlines how multidisciplinary research and the research transfer into service development are organised in ways that enable the generation of excellent research findings and the (further) development of innovative services.

(3) Shaping digitisation

The ZBW contextualises digital change and its effects on economics and adapts its services accordingly. But it doesn’t stop here. The ZBW is pro-actively engaged in shaping the digital change, and particularly in the Open Access transformation of the market for scholarly economic publications. It promotes open and free access to publications, research data, Open Educational Resources, and research software in economics. The ZBW establishes services that enable it to position itself as an intermediary and curator of publishing processes. The ZBW also shares its experiences and research-based findings with its communities and actively puts them forth to national, European and international science policy. The “Strategy 2022 – 2026” arranges the areas of activity required for this.

(4) Qualifying for digitisation

User-oriented thinking and acting, understanding digital technologies and tools, and agile management skills are the basic requirements for a service-oriented information infrastructure such as the ZBW. For this reason, the ZBW lays great emphasis on a continuous human resources and organisational development. The “Strategy 2022 – 2026” documents how the ZBW plans to organise further education and training of staff, digital working environments, and human resources management in the coming years, and how it plans to share its own knowledge with interested parties. It is a matter of concern to the ZBW to transfer the knowledge of and experience with the digitisation of the science system. Therefore it actively supports its target groups in the further development of their digital skills.

*The “Strategy 2022 – 2026” of the ZBW can be read fully here: Strategy 2022 – 2026 of the ZBW