Report on the Sino-German Training Workshop on Open Access Publishing in Beijing

In 12-13th March 2014, the first international open access publishing conference in China with title “Sino-German Training Workshop on Open Access Publishing” was held successfully in Beijing City. This workshop is supported by Sino-German Science Center, organized by National Science Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NSL, CAS) and Leibniz Information Center for Life Sciences (ZB MED), co-organized for convene Chinese journals representatives by STM Journals Society CAS. This workshop has ca.100 participants include 11 German delegation, 11 Chinese delegation, 5 international publishing representatives and 65 Chinese Journals representatives.

Scientific information open access push on knowledge communication, it is becoming the hot topic on STM, publishing and library communities. By depicting a variety of approaches to stimulate the transition towards open access, the workshop provided participants from each partner country with fresh ideas for their day-to-day infrastructure tasks. This workshop shared experiences as regards support for open access journals, be it by supporting the publication infrastructure, by helping to deploy new business models for open access journals, by establishing new open access journals, by setting up open access publication funds, or by demonstrating the productive re-use of open access participations. By sharing experiences in these areas, participants will realize which of the proposed activities will well fit into their already existing schemes to support researchers with open access publications.

The first workshop day focus on the production and the hosting of open access journals as well as on their sustainability, thereby also demonstrating how new, web-based functionalities can increase the quality of research. In the opening remarks, the director of Sino-German Science Center Mr. Chang Qin has introduced this workshop goals and its discussion framework. On the keynote speaking, Mr. Ulrich Korwitz (German delegation) presented the current situation of open access publishing, and open access policy and open access infrastructure in German; and Prof. Zhang Xiaolin (Chinese delegation) introduced the strategies of open access in China , and the practices of open access China has taken, the challenges China has faced.


In the Session 1 “Open Access Journals - How Research Institutes Run and Host Them”, Dr. Sabine Gehrlein (UB Heidelberg) speaks about their open access journals at Heidelberg University and its open access publishing supporting and the current project. Prof. Chu Jingli (STM Journals Association, CAS) summarized the current situation of open access publishing journals in China, and the progress of open access publishing China. Ms. Jennifer McLennan (Head of Marketing and Communications at eLife) introduced the eLife about its practical experience of open access publishing with title “eLife: Unlocking access to the best research”. Mr. Shen Xibin (Journal of Chinese Medicine, English Edition) reported the practice and future OA policy of Chinese Medical Association Publishing House (CMAPH) Journals. Finally, the rapporteur Mr. Roland Bertelmann (GFZ Potsdam) summarized the challenges for open access journals, novel approaches for supporting scholarly communication and the research process.

In the Session 2 “Networks and Tools for Academic Publishing”, Mr. Peiyi Liu (Science Press, Beijing) briefly introduced the China Open access journals (COAJ) platform and focus on its new services for open access publishing. Mr. Karlheinz Pappenberger (UB Konstanz) depicted A DFG-funded project on establishing a German network to host journals on the basis of OJS. Ms. Xijun Peng (NSL, Beijing) reposted a new service of journal practice entitle introduced “Journal 3.0” – a semantic publishing platform for Chinese open access journals”. The rapporteur Prof. Chu Jingli has summarized such experiences in running open access journals on a national level.

In the Session 3 “Open Access Journals – The Perspective of Commercial Publishers”, The presentation of Dr. Wayne Tian (Royal Society of Chemistry) has introduced the Open Access Strategy of Royal Society of Chemistry. Dr. Matthew Salter’s (Institute of Physics) presentation entitle “Choice and opportunity: Open Access at IOP Publishing”. Ms. Danqing Wang (BioMed Central) presented the new progress, experience and policy about the BioMed Central Open Access Publishing. The rapporteur Mr. Matthias Kaun summarized issues include the transition towards open access, transparency of cost structures, sustainability, requirements for quality.

The second workshop day widen the perspective and stimulate discussion on various transition scenarios. This relates to questions of financing articles via open access publications funds, to improving the quality of a scholarly journal due to an open access transition, and the demonstrating the value of content re-use.

In the Session 4 “Setting up and Managing Open Access Publications Funds”, Dr. Johannes Fournier (DFG) elaborates on the DFG-funding programme “Open Access Publishing” and gives the policy a full account of supporting conditions. Mr. Dirk Pieper (UB Bielefeld) introduced the Open Access Publication Funds at Bielefeld University and its considered software infrastructure. Ms. Lin Li (NSL Beijing) introduced strategies and policies in supporting open access publishing at international level and the practical experience of national science library. Ms. Kai Geschuhn (MPDL) has presented the infrastructure for efficient APC management and discussion on the issue of APC control. The rapporteur Prof. Shengli Ren summarized the DFG-funding programme “Open Access Publishing”, examples of publication funds from Chinese and German research institutes and universities, interaction between publication funds and publishers, and the requirements for an efficient infrastructure to manage APCs.

In the Session 5 “Transitioning from the subscription model into open access”, Dr. Yingkuan Wang (International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering) has shared their experience of approaches for sustainability of open access journals. Dr. Christof Ellger (ERDE) shared the experience of the journal “Die ERDE” that transitioning to open access journal. Dr. Bert Hoffmann (GIGA) shared the practice of the GIGA journal family. The rapporteur Mr. Matthias Kaun summarized the opportunities to get even better as a scholarly journal through the transition to open access.

In the Session 6 “Re-using content: why licenses are important”, Dr. Liping Ku (Scientific Information Center, NSL) presented three key points about Content Reuse: Openness levels, licenses, and 10 cases of repositories policies and open publishing policies. Dr. Andrea Hacker (Universität Heidelberg) introduced the enabling re-use with the open access publications from the DFG-funded cluster “Asia and Europe”. Prof. Dr. Tao Dai (Library, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences) presented the text mining with medical literature, and its technology, service and development. Dr. Zhihong Shen (CNIC, Beijing) presented the data publishing issues, he introduced the technology, services and progress of the publishing scientific data as linked data. The rapporteur Mr. Roland Bertelmann summarized the open access as prerequisite to productive re-use; understanding CC licenses; examples of productive re-use on the basis of open access journals; importance of re-use in case of open access monograph publishing.

The second workshop day widen the perspective and stimulate discussion on various transition scenarios. This relates to questions of financing articles via open access publications funds, to improving the quality of a scholarly journal due to an open access transition, and the demonstrating the value of content re-use.

It is of growing importance to the research community to shape the transition from the traditional reader-pays model of scholarly communication to alternative business models which enable not only free-to-read access, yet also the possibility to actively re-use research publications in manifold ways, e.g. through the application of text- and data mining technologies. Different countries and different organisations develop and deploy various strategies for the transition in order to assist authors in providing their works in open access. In the final session, the discussions session, the rapporteurs have summarized for their respective sessions and to be an open discussion of policy needs and operational best practices for development of open access publishing. Discussion includes the software platform OJS, the quality control (peer reviewing process and infrastructure offered in editorial process), the one Journal for every professor, the financing, the negotiations with publishers, the black sheep identification and isolation, the value added services, the enrichment of publications and so on. It leads to better informed, possibly harmonized open access policies. Considering that open access needs to be implemented on a global scale, harmonized policies are of utmost importance for the research communities in China and Germany.

The report of this conference and the licensed materials, you can access by open access institutional repository:http://ir.las.ac.cn/handle/12502/6721 

Reporters: Alan Ku, Li Cuixia, Li Lin, Gai Xiaoliang, Zou Zhongcai.