Scholarly publishing in China:
- 405,000 STM papers published domestically in 2006
- 172,000 included in SCI, EI, ISTP
- 5,387 STM journals registered in China in 2005 - only the US produces more STM publications
- nearly 1m graduate students in 2005, of which 191,300 PhD candidates
- 160 key laboratories in universities invested in by Ministry of Education
Despite the high levels of productivity by Chinese researchers, journals are struggling for high-quality content, as the better researchers are submitting content to non-domestic publications. Few of the journals have international editorial boards, peer review systems, sponsorship or other collaborations. But, the funding mechanisms have enabled journals to introduce Open Access which is helping to support exchange of ideas. Platforms have been set up to collate and organise pre-prints, in order to improve visibility of Chinese research. Some initiatives include Sciencepaper Online (sponsored by the Ministry of Education) which has 139,000 registered users and has published more than 17,000 papers (and gets more than 8,000 visits a day). PaperOpen.com is a federated search engine launched in January this year - and still in beta - to index OA papers from all over the web; the site aims to index 6 million papers by July.
At a turning point in Chinese publishing, such services will help to broaden the dissemination and increase the visibility of this vast reserve of research.