Customer Bulletin Winter 2011

Spotlight on … Germany

The Federal Republic of Germany has the largest national economy in Europe and is one of the world’s largest exporters. As a founder member of the European Union, Germany is an advocate of closer European economic and political integration.

The BBC states that “Germany is Europe’s most industrialized and populous country…economic success since World War II is to a large extent built on its potent export industries, fiscal discipline and consensus-driven industrial relations and welfare policies. It is particularly famed for its high-quality and high-tech goods.” In the depths of the current worldwide financial challenges, Germany’s “exports had helped the country to rebound more robustly than most other EU members.”

  • The population was recorded as over 82.1 million (UN, 2010)
  • The UN lists the total area as 357,027 sq km
  • The CIA say “As Europe’s largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent’s economic, political, and defense organizations.”

The OECD Factbook 2010 states:

  •  GDP (2008): US $2909.7 Billion
  •  GDP per capita (2008): US $35,432
  •  Gross domestic expenditure on R&D as percentage of GDP (2007): 2.53%
  •  Euros (EUR) 0.859 per British Pound (GBP) and 1.342 per US Dollar (USD)
Meet our researcher

Our researcher Moritz says:
“Working on customer data files in the German market usually involves a high amount of online research, in particular when dealing with academic records. One reason is that the German higher education system has undergone significant changes, over the last few years. In the wake of introduction of the Bologna grade system (bachelor and master degrees instead of the traditional German degrees of diploma and magister) many universities have merged departments, institutes and faculties. Trying to establish the changes and finding out which newly created department has taken over the function of a dissolved department can be quite tricky. The departmental websites do not always offer a history of the departmental changes. Furthermore many of the old German universities (Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Westphalian Wilhelms University Munster) have a very personalized, insofar as distinguished professors usually run their own institutes within a faculty. Once they retire their institute is often dissolved or taken over by a new professor and renamed according to his research interests! All this means that departmental structures at German universities are evolving very quickly and we are having to do lots of updates.”

We find that data from these web sites provides a good starting point for our research on organisations in Germany:

Identify Database

Over 10,000 Ringgold records are in Germany and that makes up 4% of the database. All Ringgold types are represented here and Hospitals is the biggest with over 1,500 of all sizes.


Consortia in Germany include the Bayern Konsortium (Bavarian Consortium of Academic Libraries) and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association), both of which can be found in the CDO.

Did you know you can access the CDO via MasterVision? For further information about the on going work on the CDO, please contact us at


Ringgold has a stand at ALA Midwinter , 20th – 24th January 2012 in Dallas, US. We are exhibiting on Stand 1252 and would be delighted to see you. If you would like to arrange an appointment, please contact us at

User Group Meeting

We were very pleased to see everyone who came along to our User Group Meeting on Monday 28th at the Institute of Physics in London. We talked about a number of things, some developments to the functionality of the CDO, our new Validate service which enables the immediate retrieval of new Ringgold numbers to enter into your own systems and some fairly major projects.

The key project is the Types project . We are reviewing our types and tiers to increase accuracy and granularity of Ringgold types, this should make a lot of difference to the reporting functions and enable you to work more effectively with the Identify Database.

Incorporated in this will be the development of multiple types for institutions which require them and the introduction of new subjects and a “level” for each institution. We would like input from all of our customers and therefore are setting up a Types Advisory Group to help us develop and describe a taxonomy that works for every eventuality. We would be very keen to hear from anyone who is interested in participating in this group, please get in touch. We will set up a brief call to start with and to develop how things should progress with each customer.

We also discussed some future projects on developing a coding programme for consortia in the CDO which describes the subjects that consortia buy content in, this will develop the CDO functionality to search for consortia purchasing in one or more subjects. If you are interested in helping us develop the subject set please let us know.

We will also be looking at the Identify user interface in the coming year and anticipate setting up another Advisory Group in due course.

Finally, as Online is moving to ExCel in East London for 2012, we may change the date of next year’s User Group Meeting. If you have any suggestions about dates or locations please let us know. Options include tying it to the UKSG or ALPSP conference, but we could easily hold it on a date that is not attached to a conference. The U.S. User Group Meeting will be attached to the SSP Annual Conference as usual for 2012.

Ringgold projects

If you are interested in participating in any of the above projects or in providing us with any feedback please contact Laura Cox, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at


If you require support from Ringgold over the festive period, we will be on hand to assist. Please send an email to