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Good practices

Controversial list

Sectors of China’s scientific community have criticized the government’s proposal to create a national blacklist of poor-quality academic journals. The initiative is part of a set of reforms announced in July to improve the quality of Chinese science and is part of the fight against misconduct in research. According to the Communist Party and the State Council of China, articles published in periodicals on the list will not count toward scholarship and job applications or in funding agency evaluation processes. Experts who spoke to the journal Nature argue that publishing a blacklist is not the best way to reduce the number of poor-quality articles. “Creating a list of approved journals would be more effective in promoting good scientific publishing practices,” said Yu Liping, a specialist in academic evaluation. In 2016, China attempted to create a national list of qualified journals, but the country’s Ministry of Education abandoned the idea after failing to reach an agreement on the criteria for the list with the scientific community.