FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about osmikon and its contents.

The gateway osmikon

osmikon is the research gateway to Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and offers interdisciplinary, academically relevant information and services on this region, such as bibliographical research, requests via wish lists or electronic publishing.

It also offers access to the services of the Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies (FID Ost) and replaces the previous regional portal Virtual Library of Eastern Europe (ViFaOst). More information is available under “About Us”.

osmikon is an artificial word. It refers to the regions, about which information is provided: Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe and Eastern Central Europe. The Greek word ending with its similarity to the term “lexicon” refers to the information included and, at the same time, reminds us of the icons of Orthodox Christianity widely found in Eastern Europe.

osmikon is aimed at people engaged in academic research on the region of Eastern, Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

In osmikon the following fields are covered within the FID for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies:

  • Anthropogeography and Area Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Education system
  • History
  • Library and Information Science, Bibliology
  • Media and Journalism
  • Music
  • Politics
  • Religion and Church History
  • Language, Literature, Ethnology (data partially/mainly from the FID Slavonic Studies, Berlin)
  • Sociology and Social History
  • Economic history

Based on the acquisition profile of the Eastern Europe Department of the BSB, the following subjects are also included:

  • Art and Architecture
  • Philosophy and History of Ideas
  • Law
  • Environment and Nature
  • Economics

The geographical focus of osmikon is on the following countries:

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Estonia (data partially from FID Finno-Ugric / Uralic Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Göttingen)
  • Finland (data mostly from FID Finno-Ugric / Uralic Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Göttingen)
  • Caucasus / former Soviet Republics (data mostly from FID Middle East, North Africa and Islamic Studies, Halle)
  • Kosovo
  • Croatia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • North Macedonia
  • Central Asian former Soviet Republics (data mostly from FID Central Asia – Indigenous Cultures and Languages, Göttingen and from FID Middle East, North Africa and Islamic Studies, Halle)
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Modern Greece
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Czech Republic
  • Ukraine
  • Hungary (data mostly from FID Finno-Ugric / Uralic Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Göttingen)
  • Belarus
  • Cyprus

osmikon covers the following historical periods:

  • Prehistory (incl. Archaeology of Prehistory and Protohistory)
  • Ancient history
  • Mediaeval History
  • Early Modern History
  • Modern history
  • Contemporary history

osmikon is a joint service of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB), the Collegium Carolinum (CC), the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe - Institute of the Leibniz Association (HI) , the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) and the Austrian National Library. In addition, it functions as the central web portal for the Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies, located at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

The Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies (FID East) provides infrastructure support for current and future German research in the humanities and social sciences in the region of East, East Central and South Eastern Europe. It serves the nationwide supply of the community with literature and other scientifically relevant content. The FID East is located at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich and is mainly supervised by the Eastern Europe Department. The Specialised Information Services have replaced the Special Subject Collections as the central funding instrument of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

osmikon is the successor portal of the Virtual Library of Eastern Europe (ViFaOst), which is financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and technically and editorially supervised by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in cooperation with the partner institutions in charge (see above). It also functions as the central web gateway for the Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies.


With osmikonSEARCH you can browse a large number of data sources with reference to Russia, East and Southeast Europe at home and abroad. They consist of library catalogues, subject databases and specialist academic services. For your research this means a comprehensive search for literature from a single spot, which saves you having to browse a large number of individual library catalogues and subject databases.

You can find an overview of the features of osmikonSEARCH under Search Help.

You will find an overview of the data sources in osmikonSEARCH under Data Sources. A click on the “i”-button (info) next to the data sources offers you a brief summary and the link to the data source.

osmikonSEARCH does not offer its own lending function for contents retrieved. By clicking on the “Order” button, you can find libraries nearby that hold the media in their collections. You can then borrow the items by clicking on this button. However, many contents are accessible online.

If no library nearby holds the desired book or journal, you can arrange for an interlibrary loan via your home library.

Data from external data sources are imported at regular intervals and integrated in the search index of osmikonSEARCH. In this way a multitude of sources can be searched quickly and search results can be displayed in a single list of matches.


Under the heading “Publish” you have the option of publishing electronically on OstDok in Open Access format.

Open Access means unrestricted and free access to scientific information. The aim of Open Access is to make scholarly literature and scientific material accessible to all users free of charge and as unimpeded as possible by technical and legal barriers. With the help of Creative Commons licences, authors can easily grant the rights to use their works and thus greatly simplify access and use for the public.

More information can be found at open-access.net.

The subject repository OstDok is the central Open Access platform for research on Russia, East and Southeast Europe. It offers electronic access to over 52,000 full texts such as scientific monographs, sources, theses and series.

If you are interested, you can integrate the content provided in the subject repository OstDok into your own database and harvest the content. To do so, please contact ostdok(at)bsb-muenchen.de.

In particular for smaller scientific institutions, it is sometimes difficult to publish entire institutional series and journals electronically. We ensure the reliable citation, permanent availability and high visibility of your publication series and journal in the Eastern European expert community. We will be happy to advise you. Please write to us at ostdok(at)bsb-muenchen.de


Thematic dossiers

The contents of the "Thematic dossiers" section offer you a scholarly introduction to special historical events. We distinguish between thematic dossiers and eResources. The former deal extensively with a topic on the basis of essays and articles, the latter with annotated collections of digitised sources.

If you have an idea for a thematic dossier, please feel free to contact us at osmikon(at)bsb-muenchen.de.

We are happy to support you in all further steps of publication and retro-digitisation of content.

Research data

Research data are data generated in the course of scientific projects, e.g. through digitisation, source research, experiments, measurements, surveys or interviews. Their recording serves to safeguard one’s own research results, improves their transparency in the sense of academic best practice and enables their reusability.


Under the heading "Material" we have collected digital services which cannot yet be searched via osmikon search. These are research-relevant contents such as digital source collections or services with digital images and maps. The selection criteria consist of the high quality of the material on offer.

Some content can also be found in osmikonSEARCH. It may be listed if separate access offers a clear added value compared to hits in osmikonSEARCH, e.g. in the case of special search entries in accordance with media types.

With the help of DBIS, you can search a large number of other subject databases. That way you can find even more research-relevant material such as digitised sources, essay databases or inventories.


In the services section you will find the services and information offered by the Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies which will support you in your research activities.

The FID licences provide access to specialist information and services for German research on Eastern Europe. These are mainly digital source collections and similar subject databases. The individual offers are open to members of the community of experts in Russian, East and Southeast European research and cover their high demand for specialist information. Access to the individual products varies from case to case and is described in detail in the information on the respective FID licences.

The expert community includes researchers who are scientifically involved in studies relating to the regions of Eastern, Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe. If you can provide evidence of a research focus in this area, you automatically belong to the expert community and thus have access to particular FID services such as FID licences.

The newsletter is sent every one to two months. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.


The acquisition service will inform you about new acquisitions by e-mail at the end of each month. At https://neuerwerbungen.bsb-muenchen.de/ned/subscriptions?lang=en you may cancel your subscription.

Picture Credits

Header FAQ: Buchrücken-Reihe © BSB


Your question is not included?

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact our team!