International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

The library of the IZEW


The library of the IZEW is a re-ference library. Therefore, bor-rowing is not possible.


In the library are ten work desks and two computers for research available.

Guided tours

On request, we gladly offer guided tours of the library for groups and individuals.


The IZEW library is a special library focusing on interdisciplinary ethics in the sciences and humanities.

In correspondence with the fields of academic interest and the research projects of the IZEW the library's inventory of monographs and volumes covers mainly the following areas: moral philosophy, science and technology, biology and bio engineering, medical science, reproductive technology and human genetics, agriculture and environment, gender studies, education, and security. In addition to this, it provides also literature dealing with ethical questions arising with regard to the media, information and communication technologies, society and (development) policy as well as law and economics. According to the IZEW's research agenda the ethical reflection of the respective topics and problems within these disciplines are at the centre of attention. Therefore the philosophical-ethical literature represents an essential part of the library's inventory.

The books are arranged systematically according to a given set of problem areas.

Besides monographs and collective volumes, the IZEW library collects about 40 specialist journals and numerous newsletters regularly published by different ethics institutions as well as periodicals by various organisations, professional associations, support groups and other initiatives. Furthermore, materials such as e.g. statements by ethics advisory boards and a variety of social institutions, law texts and so-called “grey literature” are documented.

The entire inventory of currently about 47,000 documents (12,200 monographs, 34,800 journal articles and book contributions) is registered in the IZEW's online database LEWI and thus available for research.

Most of the inventory is also recorded content wise by the IZEW subject heading system (up until the end of 1999) and the multilingual Thesaurus “Ethics in the Life Sciences” (since 2003). The monographs and volumes can also be searched by means of the catalogue “Portal Gesamtbestand Tübingen” of the University Library and are successivley being catalogued in the SWB Online-Katalog of the Südwestdeutsche Bibliotheksverbund (SWB).

Furthermore, records of the database LEWI which has been created in the framework of the project Documentation Ethics of Biotechnology are available through the literature database BELIT of the German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences (DRZE).

The special library for ethics in the sciences and humanities is a non-lending library. Thus, documents cannot be borrowed. In the library facilities ten individual working places as well as several computers are to be found, and self-service photocopying is available in the building.

According to the state government's new Corona Regulation (valid from 16 August 2021), non-immunized persons are only permitted access to closed rooms after presenting proof of testing. This also applies to libraries; except for the collection and return of media.

During the entire time spent in the library (including when working at designated workstations), the general distance and hygiene rules apply: medical mouth/nose protection ("surgical mask") or mask with a higher protection standard (e.g. FFP2, KN95, N95); distance of at least 1.5 m from other persons; regular hand washing.