Open access movement is gaining momentum in China.  Awareness combined with exponential academic output leads to open access facilitation. National Science Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences is one of the early adopters of the open access movement in China. In 2002 China established a new national science plan to promote the implementation of a national strategy in education and science and enhance the innovative ability of science and technology of the country. The aim of this strategy is to enhance open access to digital scientific resources as well as infrastructure. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), signed the Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities at the celebrations of the 30-year cooperation between CAS and Max Planck Society on May 24, 2005 in Beijing for international co-operation. As of March 2021, according to the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR), there are currently 60 Open Access repositories in China and 137 OA journals published in China which are indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The policies and initiatives have been proactive in China for open data preservation and content development. To affirm open access compliance, in October, 2010 China organized the Berlin 8 Open Access Conference held for the first time outside Europe. Chinese Academy of Sciences is a collaborator of the International Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) was launched in Ghent in October 2009, during Open Access Week.

Enabling Environment

Chinese academia and scientists are provided channels to suggest policy changes as required. Several proposals are being considered by the central government to formulate new policies for scientific advancement. Among the five major elements in the transformation towards a new strategy are scientific databases, information in the form of journals and other publications. In 2010, Shanghai developed an education informatization plan during 2010-2015. The plan proposed the integration of various learning websites, learning platforms and learning resources to provide online learning, the intelligent searching, individual learning service, lifelong learning profiles. By 2015, a lifelong education resource library will be established in Shanghai with a huge store of data. The plan also includes an e‐schoolbag project, innovation laboratory construction project, comprehensive portal to enhance vocational education project and lifelong learning service platform project. Rapid progress in IT adaptation in China and active fillip to ICT implementations is certainly a major enabler.

Potential Barriers

Although OA has gained popularity in the library profession, it is a relatively new concept among scholarly communities. If OA is mainly operated by voluntary contributors, sustainability is a big concern. Financial resources and the government investment with respect to OA are limited. Content creation in English is a challenge. Information exchange standards need to be focused upon to create platforms for interoperability. There is a need to establish a national OA policy.

Funding Mandate

The Ministry of Science and Technology (ST) of China has planned and executed a development strategy for high-quality ST journals in order to advance the international competitive capacity of China's journals, build a high performance platform for publication and information exchange for ST journals. The ministry is playing a role in invigorating China through science, education and scientific innovation through funding and strategy support. Ministry started the Strategy for China's High-Quality ST Journals at the beginning of 2005. It also launched one national high-quality ST infrastructure project for ST Library & Information System in 2006.

Regulation of college libraries (amendments) (the Ministry of Education [2002]3) explicitly required that one of the main tasks of college libraries is the education of Media and Information Literacy, to help the user improve their information awareness and the ability to acquire and utilize the information resources.

State informatization Development Strategy (2006-2020) is in place with a goal to provide information infrastructure nationwide; enhancing the capability of applying the information technology among the public. Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (ISTIC) with funding from UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP) conducted research on information literacy in China.

National Eleventh Five‐Year Plan includes mandates for creation of digital content and providing access to it within the National Digital Hybrid Publish Project supporting standards, common technology, resource management, multi‐channel publishing, digital publishing technology, public service technology, a variety of devices and forms of content access technology.

As of Feb 2014, ROARMAP registers four OA policies from China, two institutional and two funder mandates. These funder mandates have been established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (NSFC).

Open Access Progress: Big Steps

In 2012, the National Innovation Congress declared that all scientific information created with public funding should be openly accessible to the whole society.

In 2013, the National Science and Technology Library (NSTL), on behalf of MoST, officially signed the Memorandum to join the high energy physics (HEP) OA publishing consortium, SCOAP 3

Events and Programs

Past and Future OA Related Activities

       October 24, 2018 from 3pm to 4:30pm – China

       Organized by Scott Edmunds, GigaScience | Type: film, discussion

       October 27, 2017 from 9am to 5pm – China

       Organized by Xin Bi | Type: conference

       October 28, 2016 from 2pm to 5pm – China

       Organized by MDPI AG | Type: workshop 

       October 24, 2016 from 9am to 2pm – China

       Organized by Xin Bi | Type: conference

       October 26, 2015 from 2pm to 5pm – China

       Organized by Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (Beijing) | Type: open, access, week, presentation

       October 20, 2015 all day – China

       Organized by BioMed Central | Type: conference, workshop

  • 18-19 November 2014: Agricultural Open Data Hackathon; Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
  • 12-13 March 2014: The first international Open Access publishing conference held in Beijing, China "Sino-German Training Workshop on Open Access Publishing". This workshop was supported by Sino-German Science Center, organized by National Science Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NSL, CAS) and Leibniz Information Center for Life Sciences (ZB MED), co-organized for convene Chinese journals representatives by STM Journals Society CAS.
  • 2014: The Chinese Academy of Sciences co-hosted the third Global Research Council Annual Meeting. 
  • BioMed Central Open Access Day workshop; 21 Oct 2014, Shanghai, China.
  • The Right Metrics for Generation Open: A Guide to Getting Credit for Practicing Open Science; 21-23 Oct 2013.
  • Open Access Week 2013 in China; 21-23 Oct 2013, Beijing, China.
  • China Open Access Publishing Day (conference) organized by National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences; 24 Oct 2012, Beijing, China.
  • The International Conference on Cooperation and Promotion of Information Resources in Science and Technology (COINFO) - Coordinative Innovation and Open Sharing, November 11-13, 2011, Hangzhou, China
  • Inter Academy Panel Program on Promoting Access to and Use of Digital Knowledge Resources and Infrastructure: Focus on Countries with Developing and Transitional Economies, April 28-30, 2008, Shanghai, China
  • Open and Free: New Enterprise in The Information Age, January 10, 2007, Taipei, China
  • International Conference on Policies and Strategies for Open Access to Scientific Information ,June 22-24, 2005,Beijing, China
  • Workshop on Open Access to Digital Scientific Resources , June 22-24, 2004, Beijing, China
  • International Conference of Asian Digital Libraries. (ICADL). Taipei 1999 and Shangai 2004

Open Science Related Events

18-25 September, 2016: CLIVAR Open Science Conference

During the conference, the international climate community reviewed the state of the science, to prioritize international research plans and to initiate new collaborations.The Open Science Conference engaged the wider collection of scientists who work in this important area. 

The objectives of the CLIVAR Open Science Conference were to:

  • Review progress toward improved understanding of the dynamics, the interaction, and the predictability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system
  • Shape ideas to meet emerging ocean and climate science challenges
  • Engage with the future generation of climate scientists
  • Identify key climate research and stakeholder issues
  • Develop and strengthen collaborations across nations, disciplines and age groups and promote integrative studies


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