Thursday, July 12, 2007

Journal Publishing in China - Inside and Outside View:

*** preliminary notes***

Presenter: Adrian Stanley - The Charlesworth Group (USA)
Time: July 12 2007 at 1:45 – 2:45pm
Location: SFU Harbour Centre Earl and Jennie Lohn Floor Policy Room - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Adrian Stanley, CEO of the Charlesworth Group (USA), presented at the Public Knowledge Project Conference problems surrounding publishing in China.

The Charlesworth Group is a UK family firm dating back to 1928. As China emerges as a major player on the global field, many corporations have begun taking interest in them. For example, Bill Gates visits China for the first time in 1994 and since then has introduced several opportunities for Microsoft in Asia. The Charlesworth Group also noted the opportunities in this country and began working there in 1999, offering publishing services ranging from typesetting to printing and binding. Services are also provided through a subsidiary of the group, Maney Publishing.

Adrian has lived in China from 2000-2004, seen his group’s presence grow from a staff of 3 to over a hundred in that period. He and his group have worked with Chinese editors, government bodies (MOE, MOST, CAS), experts from areas such as Beijing, to promote and facilitate greater scholarly communication. With the world’s largest population, China has the potential to further the current available knowledge. William A. Wells has written a book, The Returning Tide, on this. The ISI web of science has already shown that China has taken large steps in their contribution to the scholarly community with approximately 70,000 journals (2005).

A further reason why China has become increasingly popular is that it is an untapped market. There is a large opportunity for sales and growth through subscriptions and readers. The copyright situation has greatly improved as the government has taken further steps to crack down on piracy, which the Charlesworth Group furthers by becoming a liaison to American copyright laws. There is also an increase in Chinese authors, the value of their work to various disciplines, notably the sciences. Ultimately, the arguments laid forth by the Charlesworth Group are to promote their mission: Scholarly communication is advanced if all scholars have access to the widest range of other scholars’ works.

To promote China’s presence on the global field, this organization has acted in some ways as a bridge. It has assisted locals in understanding how to take part in this global economy of scholarly publishing as well as ways to open their doors to their knowledge through e-publishing.
Some facts about publishing in China

In 2005, top three internal journal publishing contributers*

- Research institutes published 1399 journals (25.97%)
- Higher education institutes published 1347 journals (25%)
- Societies, associations published 1339 journals (24.86%)

Also, there are about 300 English language journals available in China.

* this data is from MOST

Currently, universities fund journals not for profit and they publish internal papers within the university community, restricting them locally. What the Charlesworth Group aims to do is to:

- make the universities more business-orientated to become self-sustainable.
- divide most general university journals into specialized ones.
- separate the duties editing and publishing of journals.
- help some high quality university journals expand internationally.
- establish international editorial board and peer-review system with journals that publish in English, keeping contributions from home but also allowing those from abroad, to ultimately increase the international impact.
- publish more OA papers/journals.
- increase co-operative training courses from internationally recognized organizations personnel

Already, some steps have been taken in that direction. In 2006, Springer and China’s Higher Education Press established a 5 year partnership to co-publish 27 journals


While China is still developing, it is undoubtedly a major untouched market. Like any venture, there will be challenges but with the right partners, and given the opportunities, China can reach its full potential as a global player.

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