User Guide


1. General structure

The repository is the most important feature of the Open Commons, as it contains and provides easy access to most of our resources. It is divided in 3 main parts or types of contents: publications, series and persons.

The different types of contents are tightly interlinked (publications have authors, series contain publications, and persons have lists of publications). As such, it is easy to navigate between one type of content and another. The clear structure of the repository, however, also allows distinct access and searching of the various resources:

2. Search & discovery

2.1. Search

A general search function is available on all pages of the Open Commons. It is located at the top left of the screen and can be accessed by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. The general search will return results for all three types of contents, with persons first, then series and finally publications.

2.1.1. Catalogue

The main catalogue is accessible from the top menu by clicking on "Repository". The catalogue provides a search bar, which functions exactly as the general search.

In addition to the search function itself, the catalogue offers a number of direct links to the Open Commons most useful resources (e. g. the pages of Husserl, Heidegger, Stein, Merleau-Ponty, or the Husserliana and Jahrbücher series).

On the right hand side (or in the top menu if you are browsing on a small screen), a number of filters are available, which can be used:

  • to reorder the results alphabetically or chronologically
  • to select certain types of publications (books, articles, etc.)
  • to select publications from a given year

2.1.2. Recent publications

A further useful feature provided by the catalogue is a list of recent publications. This option is accessible through the top menu, by select "Recent publications" under the "Repository" tab.

Note that this list does not offer strictly the publications that have been published most recently (although that is often the case), but the publications that have been recently to the database. As such, you might encounter publications e.g. from the 17th Century, if we just happen to be updating Descartes' works.

2.1.3. Serials

On this page, which you can access from the top menu by clicking "Serials" under the "Repository" tab, you will find a list of all journals, book series, complete works and special collections relevant to phenomenology.

You will find a total of these serials indicating on the left side of the catalogue.

By the end of 2020, every single on of these serials should be completely indexed, including all journal issues and articles, or books and chapters. Active journals and series are actualised continuously.

2.1.4. People

The final part of the catalogue is a directory of all researchers active in phenomenology. For the time being, the criteria for selection is in great part arbitrary, and depends on the position and publications of the given researcher.

The number of listed researchers is indicated on the left side main page of the repository. Further, researchers can be sorted alphabetically, and filtered by status (active or historical).

2.2. Discovery

While simple searching usually functions well when looking for a specific text or author, a complex and exhaustive repository such as the Open Commons of Phenomenology can provide something much more valuable, that is often known among librarians and information specialists as "discovery".

Discovery describes the process by which a user finds resources that are interesting and relevant to him/her, but of whose existence or pertinence he/she was not already or specifically aware. For example, when searching for a specific volume of the original Husserliana, a user could suddenly "discover" that it has been recently translated into his/her language.

The Open Commons supports discovery in several ways:

  • by providing "full contexts" (i.e. trying to offer the full bibliographies of authors, or the complete issues and articles of a journal)
  • by linking each publication univocally to its authors, editors and translators, as well as to its publisher
  • by linking each publication to its original if it is a re-edition or translation, as well as by linking a review to the reviewed title
  • by linking cited works and authors
  • by linking authors between each other