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Exploring the Growing Impact of Chinese Research via Open Access

发布时间 01 三月, 2021

As KeAi launches its 100th international OA journal, experts behind the Beijing-based CSPM-Elsevier partnership explain how quality and visibility are driving change

A quick look at the facts and figures makes it clear that China’s contribution to the world of research is continuing to accelerate in terms of quantity and quality.

The number of researchers in China is rising year on year. Although its research output has been similar in size to that of the United States for many years, China is now edging ahead. Its research into areas like artificial intelligence, robotics and quantum computing is breaking new ground; in late 2020, for example, a team in China claimed to have developed the most powerful quantum computer in the world. 

Early indications are that China’s next 5-year plan will continue to prioritize investment in these technology-related areas. In fact, China is fast closing the gap in R&D funding with the US.

This focus on investment and innovation has helped, in part, to drive the equally rapid growth of KeAi – the joint venture between CSPM,” the publishing arm of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Elsevier. Following its shift to focus on open access (OA) publishing in 2013, KeAi now publishes 100 international English-language OA journals spanning all scientific disciplines. Many are titles published in partnership with prestigious societies and academic institutions, such as the Chinese Medical Association.

We interviewed the editors, authors and publishing teams behind KeAi’s success to understand how the Chinese research landscape is evolving and which areas are ripe for change.

Let the world see China

For Prof Jianliu Wang, Editor-in-Chief of KeAi’s 100th journal – Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinical Medicine – Chinese research has yet to receive the global visibility it deserves. He points out that in 2019, 19.1 percent of contributing authors to SCI journals were Chinese, yet only 1.2 percent of papers were published in China-based journals, such as those run by KeAi: 

"I think scientific research innovation is the answer, the core force. By promoting high-level scientific research achievements, let the world see China; by establishing international journals and holding international conferences, let the world recognize China."

Prof Jianliu Wang, MD
Prof Jianliu Wang, MD

Quality through honest international cooperation

Prof Luoping Zhang, Editor-in-Chief of KeAi’s Advances in Biomarker Sciences and Technology, believes China has already embarked on a path that will strengthen the country’s international profile:

"In recent years, China has invested in making research more transparent, fair and science-based. It is important to not only focus on quantity but to also highlight its quality by facilitating and seeking honest international cooperation." 

Prof Luoping Zhang, PhD
Prof Luoping Zhang, PhD

An indispensable platform to exchanges ideas

Prof Sun Chang-Pu, who has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, including in KeAi’s Fundamental Research, said reputable and recognized journals offer one of the best routes for highlighting the strong research coming out of China:

"They are an indispensable platform for peers to openly exchange ideas on research progress." 

In the case of young and junior researchers, he said, "academic journals can facilitate their professional careers in four ways: 

  1. Tracking cutting-edge literature in their field of interest
  2. Identifying their research direction
  3. Forming their own judgement of good and bad science
  4. Learning from science masters such as Nobel Laureates Paul Dirac and Chen Ning Yang et al"
Prof Sun Chang-Pu, PhD
Prof Sun Chang-Pu, PhD

A knowledge base to solve the world’s most challenging problems

It’s a view shared by Prof Abba Gumel, who has published in KeAi’s Infectious Disease Modelling. In addition, Prof Gumel, whose research includes looking at the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases, believes China has much to contribute to the current global challenges that society faces:

"Top journals such as Infectious Disease Modelling play a vital role in the dissemination and promotion of quality science. This not only advances our research disciplines but also helps to provide the knowledge base that is crucial to solving some of the world's most challenging problems, such as the control of the ongoing ravaging coronavirus pandemic."

Prof Abba Gumel, PhD
Prof Abba Gumel, PhD

Taking science in China to the next level

For Gert-Jan Geraeds, General Manager of KeAi, collaboration will prove the key to future success. 

"KeAi, Chinese academic institutions and individual researchers alike share a huge ambition to take science in China to the next level of excellence. I am impressed with the energy, discipline and persistence that the research community in China render to realize that ambition. 

The foundation of KeAi’s success is international collaboration and the same is true for science in China. Over the years, the number of Chinese articles with international co-authors has steadily increased – and with that, the quality of articles published."

Gert-Jan Geraeds
Gert-Jan Geraeds

Playing a key role in the research community of China and the world 

For Bin Peng, General Manager of China Science Publishing & Media Ltd (CSPM), and Lynn Li, Managing Director of Greater China for Elsevier, supporting the growth of KeAi to showcase research in China is a priority. Peng views the launch of the 100th journal as an important milestone for the company:

"It shows that KeAi and KeAi journals are playing a much more important role in the research community of China and the world. Chinese researchers have previously outperformed Chinese journals in academia. Looking at the pace of KeAi’s development over the last few years, together with the continuing support of China’s research policies for science and technology journals, we are proud to see many excellent journals launched and their international visibility improved."

Li confirms that China remains a very important market for Elsevier: 

"KeAi is one of Elsevier’s strategic long-term investments in China. Over the past 20 years, we have met many research and policy leaders who have asked for our support to grow high-quality Chinese STM journals. KeAi is best positioned to support this. Under this joint venture model, KeAi has been able to leverage the best platform, experience, talent and cutting-edge technology of Elsevier." 

For Li, this commitment is reflected in Elsevier’s growing investment in China: 

"Even in the difficult time of COVID-19, we have added over new 150 jobs, built up a research and development hub in Shanghai and set up a new office in Shenzhen."

Bin Peng
Bin Peng
Lynn Li
Lynn Li

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