A key aim of the Institute is to encourage communication between scholars and research institutions in the form of academic and cultural exchange across borders, and to support both international and intercultural co-operation.
The Academic Information Service (WID), established and first published in 1991, serves to provide current information on and for all interested researchers. Each issue compromises around 2600 titles of work projects. The WID is collated annually, and includes only the titles of academic work that is currently being written, but is not yet published. Themes dealing with German culture and history in the following areas are included: the Baltic, East and West Prussia, Lausitz/Neumark, Silesia, Poland/Poznan, Bohemia/Moravia/Czech Republic/Slovakia, South Eastern Europe (Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia etc.) and Russia (the former Soviet Union). Work covering more than one region is also included, as well as studies on integration and cultural assimilation. The WID aims to supplement the existing relevant bibliographical resources.
The annual questionnaire includes over 2400 researchers and institutions in 39 countries in Europe and beyond, although the questionnaire´s primary focus is contemporary Eastern Central and Eastern Europe states. Current work on research papers, essays, editions, contributions to collections, second doctorates, doctoral, masters and graduation theses and the publication of anthologies are all recorded. References to examination theses include the location of the university if possible.
The WID dows not include the following: editorial work on periodicals and smaller pieces such as reviews, obituaries, seminar papers, excursion-reports or newspaper articles.
To encourage and promote communication, including networking across borders, requests directed to the Institute within the framework of the WID are forwarded to the relevant authors. Naturally, data protection requirements are always respected.