Thursday, June 23, 2011

BBKL no longer open access

I was a bit distressed last night to go into the Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon and find that all of the articles are chopped off after a brief view and require subscription for full access.  This database is a great resource for bibliographic assistance, and the online version keeps up quite well with the recent literature.  Apparently the Lexikon couldn't afford to keep up open access, and tried out a system of voluntary donation at the beginning of 2011, to no avail.  Now there is a system of individual registration tiered by extent of use, with prices getting rather steep rather quickly.  The publisher makes reference to an access for libraries, but I'm not clear on exactly how that works.  This option must be new with the closed access; the Free University of Berlin just started a free trial of it last month, and the University of Chicago doesn't even seem to have it at the moment.

Some of the articles remain rather long before loss of access, while others offer only a few lines.  Speaking for myself, I only ever really used the bibliographies at the end of the entries, which in all cases seems to be cut off from open use.  Your library may carry print volumes of the BBKL if you don't have access to the online database, and a new volume is put out yearly for this version (rather than updated on an ongoing basis).


  1. Let me know if I can help. I think it is a wonderful resource. The Bavarian State Library has already subscribed to unlimited online-access and I think research universities should do the same. Compared with some e-journals it is still quite cheap.
    I know the publisher - also because I publish a book series with Bautz - if I can help communicating with the publ.
    best wishes,
    Ulrich Lehner, MArquette University

  2. it is possible to write an article for the bbkl and then log-in as an member - that is free. but i think a better way is to ask the secretary of the chicago university for get a flatrate to the bbkl-login. it is not that expensive as it seems. and an university is able to pay the price for that great website.