RUB » Library Gateway » A concise library guide

A concise library guide


General Information

The University Library of Bochum has a two-tier library system consisting of the University Library and more than 50 specialist independent departmental libraries. The library caters for approximately 38,000 students, 4,700 university staff, plus numerous individual users from the area. In accordance with its missions and goals the library collects bibliographies, reference works, basic research literature, academic textbooks and periodicals from all subject areas and lends out nearly all its stock, whereas books and periodicals in the departmental libraries are for reference use only. It contains about 2,015,000 volumes and subscribes to around 2,000 periodicals. A wide range of CD-ROM databases, available to users via the university network, more than 30,000 electronic periodicals and a number of electronic publications and dissertations are also provided. The library has more than 60 networked computer workstations offering good working conditions for all users. Library clients have the use of 66 network sockets, where Internet is available for laptops. These are situated on all floors and can be identified by the sign "HIRNPORT" [German only].

Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum
D-44780 Bochum
Delivery Address:
Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum
Universitaetsstr. 150
D-44801 Bochum

Take tram number U 35 from the main railway station to "Ruhr-Universitaet". Once on the bridge you turn right. The library is straight ahead of you. If you are travelling by car, you take the "Uni-Mitte" exit from the "Universitaetsstrasse". Details

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. (midnight)
  • Saturday: 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
  • Sunday 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.

Details [German only]


Collections in the Central Library

  • Reference works:
    Reference works on the ground and first floors are for use in the library only.
  • Monographs
    Books can be found on floors 1-4 and are borrowable. They are in classified order. The first two letters of each classification number denote the subject group and the third letter the height of the book A,B,C or D. The following figures are a serial number. There are charts situated on all floors which tell you where each subject group can be found.
  • Print journals
    Periodicals are divided into 4 subject groups:
    ZG Humanities
    ZM Medicine
    ZR Law, economics and the social sciences
    ZS Mathematics, science and engineering
    The third letter of the classification number again denotes the height of the periodical and the following figures a serial number. Current issues of periodicals, which have not yet been bound, can be found on and in the display shelves on the appropriate floor. They are arranged in alphabetical order.
  • Electronic journals
    The Ruhr University participates in the Electronic Journals Library, which offers access to over 40,000 online periodicals. Titles with a green or yellow point are available in full text (partly only possible using the university network system). Those titles with a red point only provide access to indexes and abstracts.

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OPAC In order to see if  a particular book or periodical is available on the campus you need to use the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue). You can, of course, do this from every PC with Internet by registering as a guest (GAST) or by using your password if you have already entered it into our system at the University Library. You can also use the computer workstations in the library. All books, periodicals and newspapers, available in the Central Library, can be found in OPAC by searching under author, title, serial or corporation. Underneath the details of the book, you will find the location and the classification number, which is made up of letters and numbers.
ZKM Older books (not periodicals), which are in the departmental libraries, and are not listed in OPAC, can be searched for in an "Image Catalogue", which is available via the Internet.
ZDB All periodicals in stock in the central and departmental libraries are listed in the "Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB)". Exact holdings and classification number can be found by clicking NRW <294>. The "ZDB" contains periodicals in print and electronic form available in 4,300 German libraries.
EZB The Electronic Journals Library offers access to over 43,000 online periodicals. Titles with a green or yellow point are available in full text (partly only possible using the university network system). Those titles with a red point only provide access to indexes and abstracts.
Diss-Kat Most dissertations available in Bochum and written after 1997 can be found in OPAC [German only]. Those written between 1960 and 1996 can be searched for in an "Image Catalogue", which is available via the Internet.
E-Diss Electronic dissertations of the Ruhr University are listed alphabetically by subject [German only] and can also be searched for in a subject database [German only]. Both access points allow access to the full text of the dissertation.

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Bibliographic and fulltext databases

  1. Databases and DBIS [German only]
    A wide range of dictionaries, encyclopedias and bibliographies are available on CD-ROM or via internet, many of which are linked into the university network. Others are listed in OPAC and can be borrowed.
  2. Digital Library North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)
    The "Digital Library North Rhine-Westphalia" contains a number of offers, that everybody can claim for free, e.g. German and foreign library catalogues and union catalogues which have listed the scientific publications of whole regions. Students and scientists of the universities of North Rhine-Westphalia are also allowed access to all offers, for which the state North Rhine-Westphalia or the local university has aquired a multi-user license, e.g. specialized databases including not only bibliographic entries (author, title...) but also full texts.
  3. Standards [German only]
    A complete collection of standards and patents can be found on the ground floor. They are for reference use only, but copies can be made.

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Dissertation Department

Deposit copies of dissertations must be submitted to the Dissertation Department, which is located on the 5th floor / room 16.

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 8.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

Telephone: 0234-32-23502
(from abroad: 49-234-32-23502)
Information on the submission of dissertations and theses

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Lending procedure

How to obtain a User Card:

All students of the "Ruhr-Universitaet" are entitled to use the library. Their student card also functions as a user card. Please call the information desk under 0234-32-26929 to ask for your password (Monday - Friday 8.00 - 18.00, outside opening hours please use our e-mail form on the page Kontakt). Students from other universities, academic and non-academic staff from the "Ruhr-Universitaet" and private individuals are also entitled to use the library. To obtain a user card free of charge and valid for one year, you must go to the left side of the counter on the ground floor, which is open Monday to Friday from 8.00 - 22.00 and on Saturday from 11.00 - 20.00. You need to take with you a valid identity card or passport and a current official registration of residence ("Meldebescheinigung"). Academic and non-academic staff need in addition their employment contract or letter of appointment. Minors require the written consent of their legal guardian. A password of your choice will be entered by the member of staff issuing your card.

Bags and coats are not allowed in the library, but lockers are situated in the entrance, for which you need a 2 euro coin.

Lending period:

Most books may be borrowed for up to 22 days (only counting Monday to Friday). If not requested by another user, (in which case you will be notified), they will be automatically renewed twice, thus enabling them to be borrowed for 66 days. Periodicals, with the exception of those with a classification number ending in GX, are for reference use only. Copying machines are available on the first floor. Items which are out on loan can be reserved from any computer with access to the internet. To do this you need to log in to our library system using your user number and password.

Interlibrary loan / Document delivery:

Books, periodicals and articles from periodicals which are not available in Bochum may be obtained for a small charge through interlibrary lending. Copies of journal articles are also obtainable via document delivery services [German only] such as Subito and usually arrive within 2 - 7 days; these document delivery services are available for a nominal charge of a few euro.

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Subject enquiries should be made on the right side of the counter, which is situated on the ground floor of the library.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Telephone: 0234-32-22788 (from abroad: 49-234-32-22788)

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding the use of the library.


Library Induction: Introduction to Library Services

Once a month we offer a library induction in English. We will give some essential information about our services and the support we can provide.

Target audienceAny library user
Topics * Library system
* Library gateway
* Library account
* Search tips for our catalogue
* Interlibrary loan
Duration 1 hour
PlaceMeeting point: University Library, Foyer
Reservation required

The next dates

To arrange a group tour (please allow two weeks planning time for any requested tour) contact (Monika.Theile)

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Bibliographic reference managers (licensed at RUB)

Bibliographic reference managers enable you to store references, to manage them, share them and produce a bibliography. We offer basic courses for the following programmes licensed at RUB:

  • Citavi
  • EndNote online
Target audienceAll members of Ruhr University Bochum
Topics * License and download
* Search resources worldwide
* Manage references
* Citation styles
* Knowledge managment
Duration 90 - 120 Minutes
PlaceMeeting point: University Library, in front of the lockers on the ground floor
Reservation required

To arrange a group tour (please allow two weeks planning time for any requested tour) contact (Iris Nowak)