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About STW Thesaurus

Purpose and Subject Coverage

  • STW Thesaurus for Economics is a controlled, structured vocabulary for subject indexing and retrieval of economics literature.
  • The vocabulary covers all economics-related subject areas and, on a broader level, the most important related subjects (e.g. social sciences).
  • In total, STW contains about 6,000 descriptors (key words) and about 20,000 non-descriptors (search terms).
  • All descriptors are bi-lingual, German and English.

  • STW helps users to search the ZBW catalogue ECONIS with the most suitable terms, because the holdings are indexed with its descriptors.
  • Having been developed as a general indexing and retrieval tool for economics publications, STW can be used by other organisations for indexing their own materials. Details for use are given on the STW online homepage.


  • STW has been developed thanks to a project that was funded by the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft in the Nineties of last century.
  • Participating information providers were:
    • Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften
    • GBI Gesellschaft für Betriebswirtschaftliche Information (now: GBI-GENIOS)
    • HWWA-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Bibliothek (now: ZBW Hamburg)
    • ifo Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Bibliothek
  • These institutions still use the thesaurus for subject indexing.

Thesaurus Maintenance

  • Exclusive responsibility for the continuous maintenance of the STW lies with ZBW.
  • A regular editorial team verifies and decides on changes and updates concerning vocabulary and thesaurus structure.
  • Proposals by indexers and the current professional discussion are taken as sources for changes to be made.
  • The STW master file has been implemented into a thesaurus maintenance tool based on an inhouse development.
  • The consistent maintenance and revision is assured by carrying out plausibility checks and removing duplicate terms.
  • Each descriptor is given an ID-number which serves as a unique and inalterable key

  • The thesaurus team very much appreciates any proposal to improve vocabulary or thesaurus structure mailto:thes-team@zbw.eu.
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Zuletzt geändert am 10.08.2011 09:06 Uhr