Chinese Science to Get With the Global Program

BEIJING—Chinese science leaders here today threw their weight behind plans to embrace open access and Western norms of scientific conduct, including a plea from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) for more rigorous evaluation and peer review.

At the start of the Global Research Council meeting here on Monday, CAS released a statement exhorting its scientists to raise their game. “Chinese science today still faces formidable challenges and problems … result[ing] in a weak scientific ethos.” The academy called for “urgent measures to establish excellence-oriented evaluation systems and funding mechanisms for Chinese science.”

That commitment comes hard on the heels of a decree from CAS and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) earlier this month that all scientific papers resulting from publicly funded research be deposited in an open-access repository. “[O]pen access will facilitate the dissemination and utilization of knowledge, [and] turn the knowledge produced by public investment effectively into innovation,” CAS said in a 15 May statement.

“We are now in the process of starting to build a repository” to collect and make public, after an embargo period, scientific articles funded by NSFC, foundation President Yang  Wei said at a press conference at the conclusion of the council meeting. He cited the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s PubMed Central as a useful model of an open-access database.