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Book boom

Updated: 2013-04-08 23:42
By Mei Jia ( China Daily)

Book boom

Provided to China Daily

Science publisher reaches into new areas to take Chinese research and ideas into the world beyond, Mei Jia reports.

Springer, one of the world's largest science publishers, is reaching out for more social, economic and humanities titles in China, believing the country is presenting first-class research in those areas as well as in sciences.

Springer recently announced it would start a new English-language journal, International Communication of Chinese Culture, with Beijing Normal University, its latest move to publish Chinese social sciences books.

The journal will feature original articles about what Chinese culture is, how Chinese culture is communicated globally and cross-culturally, and how audiences in other cultures and territories know about and communicate about Chinese culture, says Niels Thomas, editorial director in Springer's Beijing representative office.

Thomas calls it his mission to bring Chinese research to a global audience.

"Unlike what we thought before actually coming here, there is original and interesting research, even in smaller universities and smaller cities," Thomas says.

"It's a pity those books were not internationally available, though they have the quality and the potential readership," he says.

Thomas says he and his team have seen a massive growth of interest - both from Chinese researchers who want to be published in English, and from scholars outside of China who want to read more about Chinese thought on economic, social and educational issues.

"We are finding a new growth area by satisfying needs both ways, even at a low point of global publishing in print," he says.

Springer so far has commitments from 150 Chinese authors to write on social sciences and business books.

Generally, Springer publishes three types of Chinese research to distribute globally: Chinese phenomena that only Chinese can write good books about, like in the case of China's Energy Economy; the Chinese perspective on global issues; and other books not related to China but that are simply good research, Thomas says.

"The world wants to know about what's going on in China," he says.

For Springer, traditionally strong in science publishing, the Beijing office, which opened in 2005, was first a sales office bringing international scientific knowledge into the country.

"We soon realized that knowledge transfer would be more intelligent if done in mutual ways," Thomas recalls.

The company started to publish Chinese authors in 2010, and more books than journals from that sector.

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