Central and Eastern European Online Library (C.E.E.O.L.)

Central and Eastern European Online Library (C.E.E.O.L.)

Project owner / organizer
Central and Eastern European Online Library, c/o Questa.Soft GmbH ()
Hosting organization
Frankfurt am Main
From - Until
01.04.2005 -
Berta, Cosima

What is C.E.E.O.L.?
Central and Eastern European Online Library (C.E.E.O.L.) is an online archive providing worldwide access to articles, scholarly journals, electronic books and re-digitized documents on European – especially Central and Eastern European – topics. The subjects include: Central and Eastern European politics, economy, sociology, anthropology, history, literature, fine arts, gender studies, philosophy, reviews, etc.

Scope of the project:
The project is primarily concerned with making documents available to a public which has not been able to take note of them, or only to a limited extent, through the traditional channels.
C.E.E.O.L.’s aim is to make high quality content and first hand information from and about Central and Eastern Europe accessible for an interested public worldwide as a basic condition to enhance cultural and intellectual communication and exchange. As of August 2004 the C.E.E.O.L. database contains articles provided by over 120 publishing houses (among which universities and Scientific Academies as well as NGOs and cultural editorial offices) from 24 countries. C.E.E.O.L. also offers a collection of over 5000 commented links about the region and a growing offer of re-digitized books in the field of history, anthropology - ethnocultural minorities, politics, literature. At the end of this document, please find a List of Periodicals in the Central and Eastern European Online Library (C.E.E.O.L.)
as of August 2004

A political reason regarding Central and Eastern Europe:
Large amounts of reliable content of great scientific and journalistic value already exists in terms of numerous academic and cultural periodicals in C.E.E. Based on a long tradition of dissident groups and movements, these periodicals are key platforms for public debate on politics, culture and social affairs. Such content needs to be accessible in much easier and broader ways.

The economic argument:
Yet, as long as the content is offered in a printed medium only, all these above mentioned periodicals will remain limited to their home market. If an electronic distribution already exists on the Internet, it is mostly free of charge due to a lack of e-business facilities. This results in economic disadvantages for the publishers and infringes on the copyrights of authors and publishers in turn.

The protection of copyrights:
The content offered in the C.E.E.O.L. library remains the intellectual property of the authors and their publishers respectively. C.E.E.O.L.'s task is limited to the distribution of those documents, the marketing of the portal, handling payments, and reporting to the publishers. The authors' and publishers' rights to the documents will therefore be clearly safeguarded by contract agreements with all the publishers participating in the network on the one hand, and with the users on the other. (See www.ceeol.com - Terms and Conditions). An automatic protocol of all utilization of the material enables correct payment to all the rightful holders, in accordance with their contract agreements.

Target groups:
C.E.E.O.L.’s customers are information users; they range from occasional to expert, are to be found around the globe and their common need is fast and efficient access to information and content about Central- and Eastern Europe.
C.E.E.O.L.’s main target groups outside this region are academics, journalists, library customers, media editorial offices, research institutes, intellectuals, corporate researchers, students, artists, cultural workers and last but not least emigrants from Central European countries spread over the world. C.E.E.O.L. plans to reach international academic institutions, libraries and scientific communities to attract potential customers. C.E.E.O.L. starts with the focus on publications in the fields of literature, social sciences, politics and humanities, arts and culture. A future expansion to economic and other information sources is envisaged, which will again open other and new target groups.

How does C.E.E.O.L. work?
The mission of C.E.E.O.L. is, to stimulate and facilitate the knowledge of and access to information about Central and East Europe (CEE) outside this region.
A large quantity of such information already exists in numerous CEE periodicals, but their dissemination in printed form is mostly limited to their home markets. C.E.E.O.L. aims to become a portal, which is going to be used by publishers of such content to meet the needs and the interest of individuals and institutions worldwide and thus access a new worldwide market for their product. They will provide it in a digital edition using C.E.E.O.L. as distribution- and e-business platform. C.E.E.O.L. will collect and store the electronic documents in a complex library database, together with detailed information on authors, publishers, books and periodicals from CEE.

Comprising a library database with document description of individual articles as well as e-business facilities specialized in distribution of digital content, C.E.E.O.L. is a platform for:
a) publishers, to access new customers with an electronic edition identical to their printed products distributed in their home markets,
b) institutions as well as individuals dealing with CEE-issues worldwide, to access a large amount of valuable and reliable first-hand information about this region

Advantages for publishers and users
C.E.E.O.L. wants to combine profits both for PUBLISHERS and USERS (individual and institutional users who want to be informed about political, cultural and scientific developments in Eastern Europe)

C.E.E.O.L. will enable those institutes to get more content, to get it more easily, to get it more cheaply and to get it printed if so desired in the same layout as the printed edition.
Over the past years many libraries have had to reduce their stocks of periodicals due to budget cuts. At the same time, modern technology has become an established feature of libraries, thus making it possible for them to take part in the library project. With a wide range of material available at a relatively low charge, the ”Central and European Online Library” would constitute a lot more than just a meaningful and practicable compensation to the libraries for the financial cuts of recent years.

Making accessible lots of documents in a most convenient and comfortable way (just pay and download) the users will not be limited any more on one or two regularly subscribed publications. They can choose from a library of 125 periodicals just those documents they are really interested in and they will pay only for what they really want to read. They will compose their personal archive of documents selected from a catalogue of the entire library.

The periodicals C.E.E.O.L. wants to focus on are - in the printed edition - mostly limited on their national market. Only very few important international libraries provide them to a public abroad. But since they play a significant role in the public debate(s) in their respective societies there is a considerable market on an international level. To open a new distribution channel to access this market publishers will need a platform for the electronic publishing of their contents (i.e. distribution and sale of documents on an e-business platform).

Technological data
Hard-and software-facilities - strong and reliable hardware-resources are in place for the platform. Software was developed, covering all elements of the entire workflow, supply chain and all administrative tasks of the project: the catalogue-database, the content-database, the e-business platform including back-office, database-administration software, the web-interface and a client-software for the publishers to integrate their content and the bibliographic information into the library’s catalogue:
• Each article within those periodicals is stored as a individual document
• Each document is searchable by its individual bibliographic description in the catalogue. This description comprises an abstract of the article in English, keywords, title in English and in the original language.
• an individual profile page for each author (comprising name, biography, bibliography, image and contact facilities if wanted by the author) beside the bibliographic catalogue of documents C.E.E.O.L. offers
• an individual portrait page for each publishing house and periodical participating in C.E.E.O.L. with detailed information, contact facilities

The articles in C.E.E.O.L. are all provided in PDF format.

Editors Information
Published on
Temporal Classification
Regional Classification
Subject - Topic
Additional Informations
Country Event
Project Language(s)