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The Scholarly and Research Information Arena in China. Caitlin Meadows The Charlesworth Group Presentation Overview. Summary of main Chinese academic institutions; consortia; and some recent changes (CALIS > DRAA) Strategy – your China Footprint

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The scholarly and research information arena in china l.jpg
The Scholarly and Research Information Arena in China

Caitlin Meadows

The Charlesworth Group

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Presentation Overview

  • Summary of main Chinese academic institutions; consortia; and some recent changes (CALIS > DRAA)

  • Strategy – your China Footprint

  • Current and future trends; mapping your strategy against them

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Top 10 countries submitting manuscripts

38% non-native English countries

5% China, 42% USA, 10% UK

63% non-native English countries

32% China, 21% USA, 6% UK

Source: Thomson Reuters

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Chinese Scholarly Content Buyers

Print Acquisition Online Content Acquisition

$ $

Import Agents

(Govt approved)

Increase since WTO,


(Beijing Book Co)

70% market share

100k titles imported,


25+ smaller agents


China Academic

Library &

Information System,



National Science &

Technology Library

CAS, Chinese Academy of Science, Research centers

Smaller local

consortia &

Gvmt agencies


Individual subs

$ $

University libraries


Corporate sales/MNCs


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Chinese Consortia

NSTL, National Science & Technology Library

  • Centrally funded to purchase content, MoST

  • 600+ members, 1 licence for all to access

  • Virtual organisation, 9 members: CAS, CAMS, CAAS, ISTIC

  • Have local hosting archive requirements

  • Recent focus local hosted legacy content

    CALIS/DRAA, China Academic Library & Information Systems,

    Digital Resource Acquisition Alliance of Chinese Academic Libraries

  • Centrally administered, but not centrally funded, MoE

  • 600 member institutions, each has to fund purchase themselves

  • Deep discount requests on site licence price, lengthy central negotiation of contract

  • Prefer to do deals with larger publishers

  • Recent change in structure

  • Restrictions if content already sold in secondary aggregations

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Open Letter from China

  • National Science & Technology Libraries, National Library of China, Beijing University Library, and National Science Library of CAS…

    Issued a joint statement to international publishers to protest the planned unreasonable price increases by a few international journal publishers, and to announce joint actions in negotiation with those publishers to keep down the price inflation rate.

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Chinese Universities

Look at the geographical bias...

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Chinese Universities

1 Peking University2 Tsinghua University3 Fudan University4 Zhejiang University5 Nanjing University6 Shanghai Jiao Tong Univ7 Wuhan Univ8 Renmin Uni of China9 Jilin Univ10 Sichuan UnivSource: Chinese University

Alumni Association 2009 (slides prepared by Adrian Stanley

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Think about strategy

  • What are your primary goals?

    • Subscriptions (direct, consortia)

    • Society members

    • Corporate sales

    • Submissions

    • Networking

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What’s your China footprint?

Your impact on and with China

  • Sales (market analysis, gap)

  • Online usage (including OA content, analytics)

  • Local editorial board members (active)

  • Chinese Authors/co-authors

  • Attending/organising local meetings

  • Local language material/website

  • Local staff, contacts and partners

  • Your educational outreach (systems/training)

  • How you are viewed in China/reputation

  • Business development opportunities/ranking

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  • More focus on direct institutional subscriptions

    • Assess market gaps; arrange online trials; can take longer, but good approach for publishers with mature subscription profile

    • Corporate sales: key opportunities in pharmaceutical sectors and energy (petro-chem). (Western pharma products = c. 50% of the market.)

    • Appetite for economics and education increasing

  • More online site licences and regional consortia sales

    • NB geographical provenance in your subject coverage

  • Decline in print acquisition, but still opportunities among ‘second tier’ institutions

    • Low-cost print deals

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  • Appetite for legacy content

  • Emphasis on filling gaps in content portfolio, and acquiring new content streams: databases and books/ebook collections

    • DRAA, CASHL, CAS, as well as NSTL

    • Inter-regional Ebook Consortium (4000+ books via MyiLibrary)

  • Influence of metrics on subscription trends

  • Tailoring to China’s socio-political trends

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  • Watch ereader/ebook trends

    • China has the largest number of mobile subscribers in the world

    • Ereaders are pricey, but... Shanda Literature Group’s ‘Bambook’ costs RMB999; Hanvon (70% market share) – launching in the US; Kindle; Founder

    • Popularity of Cloud Computing – Shanda’s ‘Cloud Bookstore’ has 3million titles

    • Smartphone usage and sales increasing rapidly as China becomes more consumer/consumption-driven

    • Still issues of formats and content predominantly Chinese/general literature

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  • Opportunity for partnership and collaboration with Chinese publishers

    • Number of English-language publications in China relatively low, but publishers want to gain international profile through distribution and hosting channels that access the West

    • Co-publication; local language editions (sponsored or self-funded)

    • Collaborate/form publisher-consortia with other similar publishers

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  • Technical: internet access speed can be an issue: consider mirror servers/CERNET. Social media tools for marketing and searching differ in China (Baidu, micro-blog )

  • Linguistic: In some subject areas, English still does not predominate so English-language content is still less attractive; ease of doing business requires Chinese interface

  • Academic: Some elements of multidisciplinary research still novel; emphasis on Impact Factor

  • Social: ‘China will get old before it gets rich’. (By 2015 the number of people entering the workforce will be dramatically lower than the number of people retiring at the age of 60 that same year.) [Source: US Department of Commerce]

  • Intellectual: IPR contraventions and piracy still an issue but changing

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A View from the West

China’s top universities could soon rival Oxford, Cambridge and the Ivy League, the president of Yale University has warned.

Professor Richard Levin... said Chinese institutions would rank in the world's top 10 universities in 25 years' time, squeezing out some of the west's elite campuses... At the moment, British universities dominate the top 10 rankings... The rest of the top 15 are US universities. China's highest-ranking institution is Tsinghua, at 49.

But the Chinese government now spends billions of yuan – at least 1.5% of its gross domestic product – on higher education with the aim of propelling its best institutions, such as the universities of Tsinghua and Peking, into the top slots, Levin said.

"In 25 years, only a generation's time, these universities could rival the Ivy League," said Levin.

China has more than doubled the number of its higher education institutions in the last decade from 1,022 to 2,263. More than 5 million Chinese students enrol on degree courses now, compared to 1 million in 1997.

Source: (2 February 2010)

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  • Consider your China Footprint

  • Be patient: deals can take time to secure, and rely as much on ‘guanxi’ – business rapport – as the commercial detail

  • Consider who can help you increase your Footprint (agents; editors; corporates)

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Any Questions?

Please contact me:

Caitlin Meadows

Thank you!