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Free Content Profit or access: which is more important for Chinese medical journals?

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The Chinese Medical Association, one of the largest and most influential medical journal publishers in China, signed an exclusive copyright transfer agreement with Beijing Wanfang Data Co. Ltd in 2006, which ended the era of cheap transfer of copyrights from journals to full-text databases. Since then, many journals have chosen the same route to earn more money. However, without generally recognized databases that offer free access to medical abstracts in China, many potential readers are lost. In addition, many Chinese readers do not have adequate literature retrieval skills: more convenient access to journals is therefore far more important than earning immediate profits. Goods in exclusive shops are more expensive than those in ordinary shops. That is why many journals sell exclusive copyrights to databases. However, while obtaining more profits by exclusive copyright transfer, journals may actually lose a large proportion of readers.

Document Type: Short Communication

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1087/20110407

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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  • Editor in Chief: Alan Singleton
    North American Editor: Diane Scott-Lichter
    Reviews Editor: Pippa Smart

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
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