To mark its 50th anniversary, the Annual Yearbook recording Switzerland’s political life is moving online. It has the potential to be become a Wikipedia of Swiss politics.
The first edition of the “Annual Yearbook of Swiss Politics” was published in 1966. For the past five decades, experts have recorded political life both at a national level and in the country’s 26 cantons.
The publication, written in German and in French, two of Switzerland’s four national languages, has become an important source of information for academics.
The institute of political science at the University of Bern, which is responsible for the yearbook, held a conference last week to discuss the shaping of public opinion in Switzerland’s system of direct democracy.
The editors say they want to open a new chapter to coincide with the anniversary. They will cease to publish a paper version of the records but will use an online platform instead.
The decision is in response to the challenges of the digital era and growing demands on researchers and information.
“There won’t be any significant changes as far as content is concerned,” says Marlène Gerber of the institute of political science.
She says online publications could make it easier to gather information from different yearbooks.
The new platform, which will be freely accessible at www.anneepolitique.swiss from next year, will allow users to search for people, tools and topics as well as keywords.
The database will contain the most recent political and social developments, excerpts of scientific studies and statistics as well as previous yearbooks.
It is aimed at political parties, associations, the media, government administration, scientists, academics and the public.
Experts say it has the potential to be much more than a scientific publication, but to become a Wikipedia of Swiss Politics.
Translated from German by Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch