In 1911 Ostwald founded with Karl Wilhelm Bührer “Die Brücke [The Bridge]”, an “International Institute for the Orga-ni-zation of Intellectual Work” which tried to build a comprehensive, illustrated encyclopedia on sheets of standardized formats and to improve and organize scholarly information and communication. As a “World Brain”, as Ostwald called the Bridge, it should connect people and institutions working for scholarly purposes. He developed ideas to disassemble the contents of printed journals and disseminate single papers separately (monographic principle). To arrange the separate pieces these were held together through a universal classification (UDC). For Ostwald the standardization of paper sheets was a practical application of his energetic imperative. In all of his work he sought to create conditions for the unity of science and a seamless unity of scientific thinking with practical life.
- Hapke, Thomas: Wilhelm Ostwald, the “Brücke” (Bridge), and connections to other bibliographic activities at the beginning of the twentieth century. In: Proceedings of the 1998 Conference on the History and Heritage of Science Information Systems / Edited by Mary Ellen Bowden, Trudi Bellardo Hahn, Robert V. Williams. Medford, NJ: Information Today, 1999. S. 139-147.