To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The open access movement in China

Conghui Fang (Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China)
Xiaochun Zhu (Nanjing Broadcast Group, Nanjing, China)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 1 October 2006




The purpose of this paper is to describe the current status of open access (OA) in China, including problems and possible solutions and to introduce the role of the academic library in OA.


This research paper analyzes several successful OA projects with a focus on the user requirements and the role of the academic library. The paper also analyzes the current status of OA in three areas. First, publishers. The paper will introduce some Chinese OA websites in detail, and point out the problems facing Chinese OA. Second, OA users (both writers and readers) requirements will be investigated. Third, the role of libraries will be analyzed.


The libraries goal of sharing resources is similar to that of the OA movement. The paper will recommend some Chinese OA resources set up by libraries. The paper will also describe OA promotion by China libraries. Some suggestions for the way forward are also described.

Research limitations/implications

The paper will analyze OA development and problems in China from a librarian perspective. The paper does not have a deep understanding of the publishing business. Most of the best Chinese academic papers are published in foreign commercial academic journals, which costs Chinese writers their intellectual property rights since their rights of communication through the internet is then owned by foreign publishers. As a result, most products based on public investment in China become a foreign publisher's exclusive property, earning exclusive profit for them rather than for China. This situation exists not only in China, but also in other developing countries. This “problem” is worth researching.

Practical implications

A comprehensive introduction to the current state of OA in China will be useful to those who are unfamiliar with, or seek deeper knowledge of, the Chinese situation. The constructive suggestions to be offered should be useful to Chinese administrators, OA publishers and librarians.


This may be the first research paper describing the status of OA in China in summary and in detail, with an analysis of the problems in OA development and offering recommendations.



Fang, C. and Zhu, X. (2006), "The open access movement in China", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 186-193.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited