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China splashes millions on hundreds of home-grown journals

China is taking dramatic steps to improve the quality and international reputation of its home-grown science journals. Publishers of hundreds of Chinese titles will receive generous government funding as part of a major five-year plan to elevate the country’s publications to among the world’s best.

The government said in August that it wants to publish more of the world’s breakthrough discoveries in Chinese journals. On 25 November, it revealed that it will spend more than 200 million yuan (US$29 million) per year for 5 years to help improve the standards of some 280 journals — most of which publish in English — and to increase submissions from international researchers.

China has launched several initiatives over the past five years to improve the quality and international submission rates of its roughly 500 English-language science journals, following growing concerns that some were publishing a lot of low quality, even fraudulent, research. The initiatives have helped to improve some publications, but editors say that few manuscripts are submitted from top researchers in China or abroad.

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