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Read & Publish in China: Chinese Academy of Sciences and OUP’s landmark cooperation

Open scholarly communication leads to more readership, more impact, and ultimately better research. Oxford University Press (OUP) is the largest university press publisher of open access content. We published our first open access (OA) research in 2004 and launched our first fully open access journal in 2005. We now publish 80 fully OA journals and have published 115 OA books. We offer an open access publishing option on over 400 journals in our publishing portfolio and, since 2004, have published more than 75,000 OA journal articles.

In May 2020, the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and OUP signed the first Read and Publish (R&P) agreement in Mainland China. R&P agreements allow researchers from participating institutions to read high quality, high impact research, as well as publish accepted articles through the OA model without paying an open access charge individually. These fair and equitable agreements further open access publishing in a sustainable way and help make research output available to everyone around the world.

Based on this project, Kunhua Zhao, a librarian from CAS, spoke to OUP’s Rhodri Jackson (Publishing Director, Open Access), and Kimi Zeng (Senior Consultant), to gather their views on open access publishing and R&P.

Zhao: Do you see any positive impact around the world from the OUP R&P project?

Jackson and Zeng: OUP is the world’s largest university press publisher of open access research. We publish over 15,000 OA articles every year. We see R&P agreements as one of the key methods by which we can sustainably move towards OA in line with our mission. We are very pleased to have concluded 11 R&P agreements to date globally, and are working with many of our customers on potential future agreements. In 2020 we have published more than 1,200 OA articles through R&P agreements, and we expect this number to grow.

Could you share some experience that authors from other countries/regions have when publishing OA articles with OUP that Chinese authors can learn from?

We are committed to providing a smooth and positive experience to authors all the way through the submission and publication process, to ensure that publishing in OUP journals (whether OA or non-OA) is straightforward and efficient. OA publishing is more common in some fields/disciplines than others, so we provide our authors with clear information to make sure they are aware of the OA publishing options available to them and can make informed choices.

Comparing with authors from other countries/regions, is there any specific trend or characteristic among Chinese authors when publishing OA articles?

From our surveys we find that Chinese authors are very similar to all authors—they are interested in speed of publication, as they want to make their work available to other researchers as soon as possible. They are also very keen to publish in prestigious journals with high impact. These requirements (speed and quality) are the same in both the OA model and the subscription model. OUP publishes more than 450 highly prestigious journals, and we are committed to providing fast and efficient publication for authors.

OA journals are new and often have innovative approaches which lead to fast publication. Also, without access control barriers, OA content will have more usage and the potential for more citations. Both of these characteristics are attractive to authors.

What is your view on the overall trend of Chinese authors’ publishing OA articles with OUP? Do you have any suggestion to Chinese authors regarding OA publishing?

More and more Chinese authors are publishing OA articles in OUP journals, and we expect this trend to continue. We recommend that Chinese authors choose the appropriate OA journal for their research field. All OUP journals are of high quality and will ensure worldwide discoverability for Chinese authors’ articles.

We are excited that OUP and CAS signed the first R&P agreement in Mainland China, which we believe will open up even more opportunities for Chinese authors to publish OA with OUP, along with giving researchers at the participating CAS institutions access to the prestigious OUP journals collection.

What’s your advice and expectation to the future of the OA transformation of China

We continue to see great movement towards open access in China. In recent years, OUP has moved three of our China-based journals to fully OA models—National Science Review(published in association with China Science Press), Journal of Molecular Cell Biology (CAS Centre for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science), and Journal of Geophysics and Engineering(Sinopec Geophysical Research Institute). All three of these journals have thrived since switching to OA.

CAS and OUP signing the first R&P deal in Mainland China is a further important landmark in the global shift towards open access. We are looking forward to the expansion of the CAS deal and more OA publishing from Chinese authors, and are excited to be an active part of this transformation.

Journals from OUP

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. As one of the world largest university presses, it furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

OUP has over 100 years of experience producing journals. We publish over 400 prestigious, highly cited, and authoritative journals that are published in partnership with many of the world’s most influential scholarly and professional societies, covering areas in Medicine, Life Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics & Physical Sciences, and Law to bring frontiers research output to researchers, faculty, and students.

This is an edited version of an interview that was initially published on WeChat by OxfordAcademic. Read the original article in Chinese here

Feature image by Huiyu Xia.

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