“ilissAfrica Mobile” – new touch-optimized website for smartphones

ilissAfrica MobileJust head to m.ilissafrica.de on your mobile browser to get ilissAfrica’s cross search on the go – whatever device you’re using and wherever you are.

The “internet library sub-saharan Africa” (ilissAfrica) integrates relevant conventional and digital information resources on the sub-Saharan Africa region scattered on websites, databases or library catalogues in order to facilitate research. ilissAfrica allows a cross search in catalogues of research libraries like e.g. UB Frankfurt, GIGA Hamburg, IFEAS Mainz, ASC Leiden and NAI Uppsala, and in Africa-sections of the databases “World Affairs Online”, “Online Contents”, “Bielefeld Academic Search Engine” and the colonial picture archive as well as in a database on internet resources with more than 4.800 websites on sub-Saharan Africa.

With m.ilissafrica.de we hope to increase the usability and accessibility of ilissAfrica in African countries with low internet bandwidth but with splendidly constructed mobile cellphone networks,  e.g. up to 50% of Nigerians access the web via mobile devices for instance.

Instead of writing unique apps for each mobile device or OS, the mobile website uses partly the jQuery mobile framework to design a website consistent across different browsers. It was especially difficult to adapt the complex federated search (noYaMS) to a small display with touch-navigation.

Mobile “Search”

Home-Screenshot_2013-04-25-11-44-47 .  Gacaca Screenshot_2013-04-25-12-11-40

OptionsRight from the Welcome Page it is possible to restrict the search to online full text documents (e.g. PDF files) only. The other possibility is via the search options (see the red arrow on the right). In the options menu the search can also be restricted to articles only. Not all catalogues and databases included support the search limitation on a certain publication type. Therefore, if you limit your search to “full texts” or to “articles” certain resources are excluded automatically.

Materialauswahl Screenshot_2013-04-25-11-47-24

Finally, it is possible to select or deselect certain catalogues and databases of interest.


bookmRelevant results can be added to a list of bookmarks (see on the right) and then send as an email for further usage:

Bookmarks Screenshot_2013-04-25-11-50-59

Other features

  • ilissAfrica Mobile is also available in French and German. The selection is placed in the menu on the top left.
  • The Open Access Guide “Cheap or free information resources for researchers based in Africa” is also available on ilissAfrica mobile in English and French.

 . Menu Languages Screenshot_2013-04-25-11-51-42

As in the classic website of ilissAfrica all results are linked to “WorldCat” and to the “German union catalogues” to find out which library nearest to you holds a copy (see the availability search in German library catalogues below). For articles there are links to the EZB to access the online journal directly and the ZDB to see which German library holds a copy of the print version:

Verbünde ASC Screenshot_2013-04-25-11-52-47 . Verbünde ASC offen Screenshot_2013-04-25-11-53-30

Please note / Disclaimer:

  • ilissAfrica mobile has many links to information resources still not optimized for mobile devices (e.g. PICA library catalogue software). We do regret any inconvenience this may cause, however, we only can encourage all source databases to implement touch-optimized interfaces as well.

Comments are appreciated!

P.S. If you are travelling you might also connect with our mobile Facebook, Twitter and WordPress representations of ilissAfrica to get news about African studies guides, databases etc.

About ilissafrica
This is the blog of the internet library sub-saharan Africa (ilissAfrica).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: