Call for publicly-funded OA journals in China

Jia Hepeng, Make China journals open access, says top scientist, SciDev.Net, September 2, 2008.  Excerpt:

A leading Chinese scientist has appealed for funding to make many Chinese journals open access and give priority to domestic science publications to boost the country’s scientific journals.

"We can invest billions of yuan in big science projects, but we also need to invest a tiny 200 million yuan (US$29.4 million) in an open access fund to help the growth of our journals," said Zhu Zuoyan, the recently retired deputy head of the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) at a forum on journal development last week (27 August).

He says government-funded open access journals would be a breakthrough for science publishing in China….

He added that open access journals prioritise academic merits over commercial interests….

Zhu’s remarks come amidst complaints that Chinese scientists are publishing more in overseas journals than domestic ones, which some say endangers the existence of the 5,000 scientific journals published in China….

Comment.  If the goal is OA for Chinese research, to boost its audience and impact, then green OA would be faster and cheaper than gold OA.  But if the goal (or part of the goal) is to publish the articles in China, and keep China’s 5,000 peer-reviewed journals alive, that’s a reason to consider the gold strategy.  But why not both?  A gold strategy without a green one is not likely to absorb the whole research output of the nation, especially as that research output grows rapidly over the next decade.