1963: First initiatives

Prof. Dr. Wofgang Metzger, former president of the German Psychological Association (DGPs), and Dr. Martin Cremer, director of the Institute for Documentation (IDW), encouraged the foundation of an institute for psychological information and documentation.

1967: Planning study

Prof. Dr. Carl Graf Hoyos presented a planning study which served as the basis for further considerations between representatives of the DGPs, the IDW, and the Library of Saarland University. In the following period, the Commission for Information and Documentation of the DGPs, founded in 1967, continued activities to advance the subject.

1970: Resolution

In the spring of 1970, the executive committee of the DGPs, under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Carl Friedrich Graumann, came to the decision to establish an institute for psychology information and documentation. This decision was supported shortly thereafter by the entire executive committee of the Federation of German Psychologists' Associations and, in the fall of 1970, also by the participants of the DGPs general membership meeting. On behalf of the DPGs and in cooperation with the IDW, Prof. Dr. G. Reinert developed a strategy outlining organization and financing. 

1971: Approval

The project "Information and Documentation in Psychology" was approved. From the beginning it was called the "Zentralstelle für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation" (ZPID; Center of psychological information and documentation).

1972: Commencing operations

Financed by funds from the IDW (Max Planck Institute), the first five employees began working under the direction/leadership of Prof. Dr. Günther Reinert. Until the end of 1987, the ZPID was operated as a project financed by various changing sources at the University of Trier.

1988: Institutionalization

Prof. Dr. Leo Montada who took over the management of ZPID on a part-time basis after the early death of Günther Reinert in 1979 vigorously pursued the expansion and consolidation of the institute, thus ensuring the sustainable existence of the institution. This succeeded in the mid-1980s. After an evaluation by the Wissenschaftsrat (German Council of Science and Humanities) in 1985, ZPID was institutionalized in 1988 as the "central scientific institution" of the University of Trier. Financing was now provided within the framework of the Blue List of institutions equally funded by the states and the federal government, from which the Leibniz Association emerged in 1997.

1997: Founding member of the Leibniz Association

After another review by the Wissenschaftsrat (German Council of Science and Humanities), ZPID became a founding member of the Leibniz Association in 1997. As a Leibniz Institute, it is evaluated every seven years by the Senate of the Leibniz Association.  

2004-2017: Internationalization and research

Under the part-time management of Prof. Dr. Günter Krampen, the institute's tasks became more open to a European and international focus, and a new research area was created. The infrastructure tasks of the institute are increasingly supported by application-oriented basic research and a research profile of the institute is established.

2013: Legal autonomy

Since January 1, 2013, ZPID is a legally independent public institution of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is located at the University of Trier, with which it cooperates scientifically.

2017-2023: Moving toward becoming a universal service provider, open science, stronger research

From 2017 to 2021, Prof. Dr. Michael Bosnjak served as ZPID's first full-time director. Under his leadership, the institute began pursuing the strategy of becoming a universal provider for all infrastructure needs in psychology and related disciplines by expanding and consolidating its infrastructure services and positioning itself as a public open science institute for psychology. Additional focus was also placed on the further-development an differentiation of the research carried out at ZPID. Prof. Dr. Claudia Dalbert took over as director from the beginning of 2022 to October 2023, pending the appointment of Mr. Bosnjak's successor. Under her leadership, ZPID continued along the path it had already embarked on.

ZPID today

As of October 1, Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg assumed the position as ZPID’s new director. He will consolidate the existing infrastructure services of ZPID and transform them into a sustainable product portfolio, as well as further expand and accentuate the research divisions.