Research Article

Open Access with Chinese Characteristics: Understanding Recent History and Current Practice via Qualitative Interviews at a Large Chinese Research University

Authors
  • Meredith Kahn orcid logo (University of Michigan)
  • Liangyu Fu orcid logo (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Chinese scholars, administrators, and librarians possess nuanced understandings of what defines open access (OA) in China and the barriers that make wider adoption of OA difficult. When we say “OA” in the United States, we imply a complex set of underlying assumptions tied to the history and practice of scholarship. Saying “OA” in China brings with it a similarly complex set of assumptions that may not be commensurate with the OA that we speak of, and such one-to-one translation may not be possible or desirable given the unique historical, political, and linguistic differences between the world’s two largest producers and consumers of scholarship. Through a careful analysis of our participants’ observations and a review of the history and context of Chinese academic institutions, we posit that “OA with Chinese characteristics” describes a set of possibilities and constraints that determine how Chinese academics experience both the theoretical project and the practical distribution method we commonly call OA. Although these multiple understandings of OA may not converge on a single shared meaning, we can endeavor to understand one another better in the service of creating and sharing knowledge.

Keywords: open access, China, academic freedom, language politics

How to Cite:

Kahn, M. & Fu, L., (2023) “Open Access with Chinese Characteristics: Understanding Recent History and Current Practice via Qualitative Interviews at a Large Chinese Research University”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 11(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/jlsc.14071

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Funding

  • Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan
  • University of Michigan University Library

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Published on
02 Feb 2023
Peer Reviewed