Virtual Training – The Very Latest in Open Access in China and Around The Globe

“The focus will be on the latest in open science, open research, open data, OSTP and Europe’s cOAlition S, and look ahead to future initiatives and prospects of open access (OA) across China. 

Who should attend?

This training, delivered by three scholarly experts, is aimed at scholarly publishers who are based in China. It will also be relevant to those who do business with Chinese publishers….”

JULAC consortia announcement – The Company of Biologists

“The Company of Biologists is delighted to announce a new Read & Publish Open Access agreement with the Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee (JULAC) Consortium for 2023.

Corresponding authors at participating JULAC institutions in Hong Kong can publish an uncapped number of research articles immediately Open Access (OA) in our hybrid journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology) plus our fully Open Access journals (Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open) without paying an article processing charge (APC). Researchers at participating institutions also benefit from unlimited access to our hybrid journals, including their full archives dating back to 1853….”

To Preprint or Not to Preprint: Experience and Attitudes of Researchers Worldwide

Abstract:  The pandemic has underlined the significance of open science and spurred further growth of preprinting. Nevertheless, preprinting has been adopted at varying rates across different countries/regions. To investigate researchers’ experience with and attitudes toward preprinting, we conducted a survey of authors of research papers published in 2021 or 2022. We find that respondents in the US and Europe had a higher level of familiarity with and adoption of preprinting than those in China and the rest of the world. Respondents in China were most worried about the lack of recognition for preprinting and the risk of getting scooped. US respondents were very concerned about premature media coverage of preprints, the reliability and credibility of preprints, and public sharing of information before peer review. Respondents identified integration of preprinting in journal submission processes as the most important way to promote preprinting.


Open science train-the-trainer tips | EIFL

“Enhancing open science and open research skills by organizing train-the-trainer activities, creating training materials, and advocating for research incentives and structures that support and promote the acquisition of open science and open research skills are among EIFL’s strategic goals. 

But bringing together trainers from almost 40 EIFL partner countries in Africa, Asia and Europe is a challenge – in-person meetings are too expensive. So we opted for free online meetings although we knew these would be challenging too, because it is difficult to find a time to suit many different time zones simultaneously, internet connectivity varies, and people joining online meetings from the workplace or home may get interrupted by work priorities and day-to-day life.

To minimize these difficulties, the bootcamp comprised synchronous meetings – live on Zoom – and asynchronous learning on OpenPlato, which is OpenAIRE’s Moodle e-learning management platform. OpenPlato had been used successfully in OpenAIRE train-the-trainer bootcamps that we helped to co-organize in 2022.”

SAOA Surpasses 1 Million Pages of Open Access Content | CRL

“The South Asia Open Archives (SAOA) achieved a major milestone last month, surpassing one million pages in its online collection of free, open access digital content. 

For the past several years, members of the South Asia Open Archives initiative have been working collaboratively to build a robust collection of primary sources for researching, teaching, and learning about South Asia. Following its public launch in October 2019(link is external), SAOA has added hundreds of thousands of pages of newly digitized material from across the region. Now totaling over one-million pages of open-access primary source material, SAOA’s collection includes more than thirty-thousand items in twenty-seven different languages….”

Estimating social bias in data sharing behaviours: an open science experiment | Scientific Data

Abstract:  Open data sharing is critical for scientific progress. Yet, many authors refrain from sharing scientific data, even when they have promised to do so. Through a preregistered, randomized audit experiment (N?=?1,634), we tested possible ethnic, gender and status-related bias in scientists’ data-sharing willingness. 814 (54%) authors of papers where data were indicated to be ‘available upon request’ responded to our data requests, and 226 (14%) either shared or indicated willingness to share all or some data. While our preregistered hypotheses regarding bias in data-sharing willingness were not confirmed, we observed systematically lower response rates for data requests made by putatively Chinese treatments compared to putatively Anglo-Saxon treatments. Further analysis indicated a theoretically plausible heterogeneity in the causal effect of ethnicity on data-sharing. In interaction analyses, we found indications of lower responsiveness and data-sharing willingness towards male but not female data requestors with Chinese names. These disparities, which likely arise from stereotypic beliefs about male Chinese requestors’ trustworthiness and deservingness, impede scientific progress by preventing the free circulation of knowledge.


The Challenges of Conducting Open Source Research on China – bellingcat

“The People’s Republic of China is well known for its efforts to restrict the free flow of information online. With this in mind, this guide provides an overview of some of the challenges facing open source researchers investigating China-  focusing primarily on those outside China. For those who are just getting started in open source research on China, it is designed to give an idea of the difficulties you may face. Since 2017 evolving censorship tactics and increased regulations that reduce anonymity online have made open source research on China increasingly difficult. Methodologies that researchers have used successfully in the past are often rendered useless by new restrictions if Chinese authorities become aware of them. Access to Chinese websites and social media apps, as well as methods for investigating them, are therefore currently shrinking. 

The current range of difficulties may sound bleak – and to a certain extent it is – but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t finding creative ways to work around them, or that there aren’t clear ways that developers and other researchers can work to improve things. To better understand the current situation, Bellingcat interviewed a dozen China researchers who specialise in tech or human rights, including in Xinjiang and Tibet, about the challenges they’re facing doing open source research on China….”

A portal to China is closing, at least temporarily, and researchers are nervous | South China Morning Post

“CNKI, a portal for Chinese academic papers, will restrict foreign access to some databases starting April 1, for security concerns

It is unclear when access might be resumed, leading some scholars to fear the suspension might become permanent….

China’s top internet portal for academic papers will suspend foreign access to some databases starting next week, sparking concerns among scholars that they will lose not only an important resource for understanding China but also a useful guardrail to reduce misunderstanding between China and the West.

This week, research institutions around the world – including the University of California, San Diego, Kyoto University and the Berlin State Library – notified affiliates that they would indefinitely lose access to up to four databases provided by the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) platform starting on April 1….


For academics studying China, CNKI is an invaluable resource, particularly with the current uncertainty surrounding visits to China for field research….

Over 95 per cent of Chinese academic papers that are formally published are available on CNKI, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation, China’s antitrust watchdog, when it conducted a separate review of the platform’s practices….”

Is open science a double-edged sword?: data sharing and the changing citation pattern of Chinese economics articles | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Data sharing is an important part of open science (OS), and more and more institutions and journals have been enforcing open data (OD) policies. OD is advocated to help increase academic influences and promote scientific discovery and development, but such a proposition has not been elaborated on well. This study explores the nuanced effects of the OD policies on the citation pattern of articles by using the case of Chinese economics journals. China Industrial Economics (CIE) is the first and only Chinese social science journal so far to adopt a compulsory OD policy, requiring all published articles to share original data and processing codes. We use the article-level data and difference-in-differences (DID) approach to compare the citation performance of articles published in CIE and 36 comparable journals. Firstly, we find that the OD policy quickly increased the number of citations, and each article on average received 0.25, 1.19, 0.86, and 0.44 more citations in the first four years after publication respectively. Furthermore, we also found that the citation benefit of the OD policy rapidly decreased over time, and even became negative in the fifth year after publication. In conclusion, this changing citation pattern suggests that an OD policy can be double edged sword, which can quickly increase citation performance but simultaneously accelerate the aging of articles.


Trio of OA agreements in Asia mark a first for IOP Publishing – IOP Publishing

“The three-year read and publish agreements with the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) will deliver a range of benefits, including:  

No article publication charges for authors publishing in all IOPP journals and almost all partner journals 
Publications in both hybrid and gold OA journals are covered 
Publishing under an open licence (CC-BY), allowing authors to retain copyright 
Reading access to all IOPP research published over the last 10 years…”

Exploratory Research Project on Open Infrastructure Needs in Latin America, Africa, and Asia

“At Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI), we have been working to address challenges in maintaining community-run technologies and initiatives that support science and scholarship. So far, we have mainly been working in Europe and North America, and we are looking to better understand the issues relating to sustaining these tools and services in Latin America, Africa and Asia….

Our current research is exploratory. We seek to better understand the initiatives, people, and issues involved in scholarly infrastructure in different regions and contexts. Our aim is to identify existing resourcing needs in terms of community governance, financial, technological, and organizational capacity in current and emerging open infrastructure services aimed at supporting the scientific and scholarly community in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In the long run, our organization aims to provide funding recommendations in the open infrastructure ecosystem, and we may draw on the understanding we build from this project to do so. While we aim to increase investment, we cannot guarantee that participation in our research will lead to any funding opportunities.

We are conducting exploratory research focusing on three regions: Latin America, Africa, and Asia, between February and April, 2023….”

Exploring open infrastructure needs in Latin America, Africa, and Asia: a new research project | Invest in Open Infrastructure | March 2023

“…During the months of March and April, we will conduct initial exploratory research focusing on three regions: Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Our research team has conducted desk research to identify key stakeholders to reach out to each of the world regions and are in the process of setting up interviews and designing a conversation guide for this work. You can find out more on our Regional Research project webpage. We’re prioritizing research on Africa and Latin America in particular. Later this month, members of the IOI team will be in Ghana to learn more about open infrastructure needs and funding and to connect with key stakeholders in the region. Similarly, next month, we’ll be in Argentina, joining csv,conf,v7 and the “Accelerating Open Science in Latin America” workshop hosted by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to learn more about needs and funding in Latin America.. At the same time, we’ve started a virtual listening tour of India. We hope to later expand the tour to include other countries in the vast Asian continent. This exploration is fundamental in informing and shaping key pieces of work that we’re looking to advance this year, including the next phase of the collective funding pilot, funding trends research, the Catalog of Open Infrastructure Services (COIs), and the fund we’re aiming to launch in 2024….”

Transformative Agreement Signed between the Microbiology Society and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Microbiology Society

“The Microbiology Society and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences are pleased to announce a transformative agreement starting in 2023. The Publish and Read model will allow affiliated researchers the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences to publish an unlimited number of Open Access (OA) articles in hybrid and fully OA titles, as well as having full read access the Society’s journals portfolio. The Microbiology Society are represented in China by the Charlesworth Group….”

China and Open Access – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Based on the agreed principles that I just referenced, the report is written and organized around four themes — and the findings and takeaways are different for each. 

The first – “Open access as practiced globally” – is a primer on open access publishing. This will be invaluable for those working in the scholarly communications community in China as an introduction to open access as practiced globally. And, since it may be a unique report bringing what we know together so concisely, it could be useful for colleagues to read anywhere in the world. Whilst comprehensive in its coverage, it illustrates well the steady and accelerating march of Gold open access globally. 

The second section – “Open access publishing in China” – includes a large amount of data on publishing activity in China and references the various policies and initiatives put in place over time to accelerate open science in the country. The highest profile journals, whether published solely by publishing houses in China or in partnership with international publishers, are similarly launching or moving at the same pace to Gold open access as we see in the global statistics. There is also what we could call a domestic publishing industry, publishing in both Chinese and English languages. The publishing models for open access for these publishers are different, as described in the report.

The third section – “Research integrity in open access publishing” – covers the major areas of this work for publishers internationally, and sets up a sort of dialogue between STM and CAST on what is happening in China. As we all know, these are critical issues and the report shows how China is grappling with many of the same problems as global publishers.

And finally, we have case examples of collaborations by some STM members with publishers, institutions, and journals in China. This is not a comprehensive directory of activity and the submissions were included as submitted. We chose a range of publishing houses to illustrate some different ways in which collaborations have been established, including commercial publishers, learned societies, and university presses. The takeaway here is that there are many exciting partnerships underway for the benefit of researchers in China and globally.”

Open Buildings

“Building footprints are useful for a range of important applications, from population estimation, urban planning and humanitarian response, to environmental and climate science. This large-scale open dataset contains the outlines of buildings derived from high-resolution satellite imagery in order to support these types of uses. The project is based in Ghana, with an initial focus on the continent of Africa and new updates on South Asia and South-East Asia….”