China shifts from reliance on international publications

“After years of pushing Chinese researchers to publish in prestigious international journals, China’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Technology have jointly released a document aimed at reducing “excessive reliance” on Science Citation Index (SCI) papers for academic promotions, job offers and allocation of research funding.

The change is likely to lead to a drop in international publications, which in recent years saw China rise swiftly to become second in the world for research papers published in international journals, behind only the United States.

The shift away from international publishing could also see some Chinese universities fall in global higher education rankings, which rely strongly on international publication citations, experts say….

Moving away from international research publication was first announced by President Xi Jinping during a national education conference in 2018, when he said academic standards in higher education institutions could not be led significantly by Western ideas or standards, and stressed that China should have its own academic standards and norms, not bound by international norms….

Universities should not list publishing SCI papers as a requirement for students to get doctoral degrees, it added….”