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ResourcesResearch IntegrityThe Walls Around Us — Why Cambridge University Press’ Predicament Demands Attention – Scholarly Kitchen (Kent Anderson | August 2017)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The Walls Around Us — Why Cambridge University Press’ Predicament Demands Attention – Scholarly Kitchen (Kent Anderson | August 2017)

Published/Released on August 22, 2017 | Posted by Admin on August 27, 2017 / , , , , ,
 


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Cambridge University Press (CUP) recently removed some 300 articles from a Chinese website after being extorted into an untenable situation by the Chinese government. In short succession, CUP was threatened with a boycott by some proactive academics. The boycott and general condemnation of what some interpreted as “capitulation” ultimately led to Cambridge University overruling the publisher’s decision and reinstating the articles in defiance of the Chinese demands.

This situation touches on matters such as academic freedom, censorship and significance of such matters when access to a huge audience/market is on the line.

At issue were articles in a CUP journal, China Quarterly. These articles cover subjects like the Tiananmen Square massacre, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the Cultural Revolution. CUP risked having all its content blocked inside China if it did not comply with the demands to block these articles from reaching China.
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While the boycott generated results, boycotting CUP is what some might call “small beer.” Condemning the actions of the Chinese government is the more important reaction, and one we need to think about more generally. Blaming the publisher is like blaming the victim in cases like this.

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