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Beyond online preprints: formalization of open initiatives in China

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A growing number of online journals and academic platforms are adopting light peer review or 'publish then filter' models of scholarly communication. These approaches have the advantage of enabling instant exchanges of knowledge between academics and are part of a wider search for alternatives to traditional peer review and certification processes in scholarly publishing. However, establishing credibility and identifying the correct balance between communication and scholarly rigour remains an important challenge for digital communication platforms targeting academic communities. This paper looks at a highly influential, government-backed, open publishing platform in China: Science Paper Online, which is using transparent post-publication peer-review processes to encourage innovation and address systemic problems in China's traditional academic publishing system. There can be little doubt that the Chinese academic publishing landscape differs in important ways from counterparts in the United States and Western Europe. However, this article suggests that developments in China also provide important lessons about the potential of digital technology and government policy to facilitate a large-scale shift towards more open and networked models of scholarly communication.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-07-01

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  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    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.

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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at for information on how to continue access to this title.
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