We use cookies on this site to enhance your experience

By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies.

Case Study: China Help Desk for an OA Publisher

A UK Open Access publishing company had witnessed the rapid and continuous growth of the academic research output in China in the last decade.

The problem

Despite being pleased to see an increase in the number of published papers and APCs from Chinese authors, they were struggling to keep ahead of  the level of manuscripts they were receiving. Their problems included:

  • Manuscripts that were not relevant to the scope of the journal were being submitted
  • Requirements in author guidelines were ignored or not followed
  • Some submissions were difficult to understand due to their poor language. Publication editors had to reject them, before reaching peer review, when the research might be sound.

To make things worse, their editors and staff were also receiving more and more inquiry emails from Chinese authors, and they were finding that they had no time to answer them.

The Charlesworth Group solution

Our China Experts Services team designed and executed an online survey on behalf of our client. The invitation emails were distributed to their author list, and identified target groups in The Charlesworth Group’s own author database. Following this, we completed a two-phase proposal.

Firstly, we set up dedicated help desk/local office representation for their Chinese authors. This service involves The Charlesworth Group’s expert Publishing Services staff:

  • Answering phone calls from authors about their journals
  • Providing accurate information regarding journal policies
  • Providing similar support via dedicated email and social media
  • Logging queries, response times and follow-up and reporting to the client monthly
  • Providing suggestions and feedback to help support further marketing and/or editorial initiatives

At the same time, to make sure the submission requirements were understood and adhered to by Chinese authors, The Charlesworth Group translated the scope of the journals and author guidelines into Chinese. These materials are now readily available on the client’s website for Chinese authors to use.

Our client also refers authors to The Charlesworth Group’s professional language polishing services to help increase the quality of the submissions from non-English speaking authors.

The outcome

This project received the desired effect quickly; the number of enquiries from Chinese authors to their editorial office and not-relevant submissions reduced significantly, and the language quality of submissions improved overall.