John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

China Must Create a New Academic Publishing Business Model

China’s top libraries issued a warning to the world’s major (for profit) academic publishers:  “develop a reasonable, realistic price policy…” or else!

The fallacy behind the 1 September 2010 “Joint Open Letter to International Publishers” [ http://tinyurl.com/2befyob ]  is that the group is all librarians, albeit, prominent librarians from prominent institutions. But in the information world of today, the librarian is no longer the customer.  If the declaration had come direct from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science & Tech or other member of the State Council, or even from an organized group of Chinese scientists, that would bear more weight.   Elsevier pushed through a huge price increase 2-3 years ago in China in spite of cancellations from basically the same group of libraries that issued the 1 Sept declaration.  Elsevier took its case direct to the university administrators who ordered the librarians to renew ScienceDirect and pay the increase.

The only way for China to reduce its dependance on “a few international STM publishers” is to sever the umbilical cord that measures PhD achievement in China with publishing in high impact factor journals (that are primarily owned by “a few international STM publishers”).  Simply building a larger consortia by adding the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Library, and NSTL to CALIS will not solve the fundamental problem.

China is seeing huge growth in paper submissions to the world’s top peer-reviewed journals.  The number of papers accepted has been gradually increasing, too, as the quality of research reporting in English improves.

China must proactively promote the open access green model to Chinese authors, and China must build top quality academic publishing houses inside China.  China should be an early adopter of the new publishing paradigms that are being experimented with globally today.  China has the potential to build a new academic publishing business model that will be an example for the rest of the world to follow.

Librarians around the globe have been writing letters to “a few international STM publishers” and complaining about price increases for more than 30 years!  Another letter will not make any difference, its time for a more fundamental change in the way knowledge management is done.

——————–

Link to the original English letter on the Chinese Academy of Sciences website:

Joint Open Letter to International Publishers – 中国科学院国家科学 …

Advertisements

13 September 2010 Posted by | Scholarly Communication, University Publishing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Want to Publish In Japanese?

Do You Want to Publish In Japanese?  Are you boggled by the differences between English typesetting and Japanese text layouts?

Here are the links to two excellent resources explaining the challenges English language authors and publishers must face when preparing to have print or online works translated and published in the Japanese language.

The first link is to an excellent 6-page article by Tony Graham:  Layout of Japanese documents posted on www.tcworld.info in July 2009.  Tony uses 11 charts and about 20 paragraphs to summarize the entire problem facing Western publishers who want to publish Japanese language books, journals or high-quality websites in Japanese.

I particularly appreciate Tony’s comment:  “In the Western tradition, pages are designed from the outside in: the page size is decided first, followed by the size and placement of the main text block … [where as] In the Japanese tradition, it is the opposite: the size of the main text block (kihon-hanmen) is determined first … and the size of the page (trim size) is determined based on the proportions of the kihon-hanmen.

The second link is to a 4 June 2009 detailed English language document created by a working group of the World Wide Web Consortium, with the accurate but boring title: Requirements for Japanese Text Layout .  This 163-page tome is an excellent primer for software developers and page designers who have already decided to publish something in Japanese, and want a detailed outline of the differences between Western and Japanese typesetting and page construction.  You are still going to need to hire or outsource the work to a fluent Japanese crew, but at least you will now understand why it is taking so long, and why they are charging you so much!

The W3C document will also be beneficial to western marketing professionals who want to adopt their corporate theme to the Japanese market and wonder if the corporate brochures and Annual Report can be easily translated into Japanese.

Tony Graham’s summary on how the Japanese format published pages:  Layout of Japanese documents

The W3C’s Note (and soon to become a standard) on Requirements for Japanese Text Layout

6 September 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Self Publishing | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: