Open Access in China: Some
EAST STROUDSBURG UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
China joined the open access movement very
The Berlin Declaration on Open Access was initiated in October 2003. The
earliest signatories were only nineteen.
Two months later in December, the Chinese Academy of Sciences signed
the declaration, making it the twenty-eighth signatory.
The next May, both the National Natural Science Foundation of China and
University of Science and Technology Beijing became its signatories.
Some early open access initiatives in China
International Conference on Policies and Strategies for Open Access to
Scientific Information, June 2005, Beijing.
Workshop on Open Access to Digital Scientific Resources, June 2004,
The Chinese Academy of Sciences is a collaborator of the International
Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), launched in Ghent in
Some selected open access events in China
In October, 2010, China organized Berlin 8 Open Access Conference, the
first time outside Europe.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation of
China implemented their open access policies in 2014.
Open access policies
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
CAS Institutional Repository Grid – 112 communities, 290,266 full tests
China Academic Institutional Repository by CALIS – including 45 higher
Open Repository of NSFC – 428,670 documents
Central government operated repositories, e.g., Science Paper Online – 94,707
Major achievements Cont’d
Open access journals
A total of 685 open access journals, 8.4% of all scholarly journals in China, some
of which are not completely open access
Open data projects
National Sharing Platform for Scientific Data
National Data Portal by the National Bureau of Statistics
National Data mobile apps
Some issues in the development of open
access in China
The growth of open access has not been as fast as in other major countries.
Open access has been for a long time the business of a few major academic
Although some repositories have collected a huge number of articles,
overwhelming majority of the articles are not in full text, e.g., PDF files.
The amount of open access documents has been low in proportion to the value of
China’s GDP, number of total researchers, and quantity of publications.
Open access as a concept has not been really accepted by regular researchers.
Traditions as Obstacles
The rote learning culture created an inherent preference for science, where
memorization based on repetition allowed learners to quickly acquire
knowledge from others.
In traditional China, memorizing and copying famous part of classical
documents showed one’s respect to the original authors, and one’s talent
if s/he could seamlessly integrate the part into own work.
In present China, social stratification in the scholarly community restrict
young scholars from exceed intellectual limit of the seniors.
Lack of adequately scientific training.
Consequences as threats to open access in
Plagiarism: unaware versus intentional
Tolerance toward piracy
Unwillingness of authors to make their research outcomes freely available
- Already taken, but need further efforts
Policies to encourage open access publications.
Policies to penalize plagiarism and unethical behaviors and regulate
research and publishing.
Financial support from various levels of government.