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.

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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 …

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

   

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