There is still room for Chinese science to grow

Open access in China: the challenge of peer review and the Web of Science for academic publications – A case study of the Hangzhou Dianzi University

One aspect of publishing that China seems less interested in pursuing is open access. As a proportion of research output, China’s is lower than the rest of the world and it has an increasing total of open-access articles each year. There are almost 200 English-language open-access journals published in China, but only about one-tenth of the total number that are registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

She says that China wants to be more active in helping shape how the global academic-publishing system works and not follow models and rules from Western countries.

Being selected for support under the CJEAP is not easy, says Shu Fei, who studies scholarly communication at Hangzhou Dianzi University in China. He says it takes an ambitious plan for improvement to be included in the Web of Science within three years. That indexing can be difficult to attain if the journal is not affiliated with a top university or the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the country’s largest research institution, in Beijing. One journal Shu is involved with, which he helped launch in 2021, has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts to become part of the CJEAP, he says.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences has a list that identifies journals that are seen as having poor management, lower academic reputation or favouring commercial interests. The list was launched at the end of 2020 and evaluates journals based on a number of criteria that have included self-Citation rates, Retraction rates, and the cost ofAPCs. The first iteration of the list included 65 journals; the 2024 version had just 24, with only two remaining from the original list.

Given the reticence around open access, neither Goncharoff nor Yang expect China to introduce a national policy on it anytime soon. The country is pragmatic about the direction of travel in global publishing. Every journal supported by the CJEAP offers open-access options — some gold, but many diamond, where the costs are covered by a publisher or a sponsoring institution.

There has been a lot of discussion in China about what reasonable’sAPC would be in an effort to control costs. If the cost exceeds US$2,800, the funding for Chinese researchers will be taken away by an academic committee. Some universities have started rejecting higher than US$2,000, and there are suggestions that a reasonableAPC is around US$1,200.

Some of China’s strongest Chinese-language journals in the field of education studies are establishing English versions and are inviting global scholars to join their editorial board, says Yang. They want to be international too, and are not just for Chinese authors.

China’s Green Finance and Development Center (BRI): Where are we going? What do we need to improve? How Singapore and South Korea are getting closer

It isn’t just infrastructure, it is more than that. Sometimes referred to as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature policy, it’s an attempt to boost China’s economic and political influence by strengthening its ties with neighbours and other strategic partners around the world. The Green Finance and Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai has been keeping track of the BRI’s progress. It estimates that China has spent more than US$1 trillion on the initiative since 2013 and that 151 countries have so far signed up to the project and the funding that comes with it.

If you have NASA funding in the United States, you can’t collaborate with Chinese nationals. The United States is closing access to resources and data when it comes to sensitive areas of research. I suspect that this is probably where this trend away from the West is happening. These are areas and fields that are growing in Singapore and South Korea, so it makes sense.”

The country’s strengths in chemistry and the physical sciences has made it to the top of the Nature Index. But there is untapped potential in other subject areas.

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