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Pay per page row over academic journal

A BEIJING-BASED academic economics journal has been accused of publishing articles by anyone who paid it.

"Business Modernization" is estimated to have collected nearly 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million) in "page fees" last year by selling the 400 pages of each edition of the magazine. The journal is published three times a month, today's China Youth Daily reported.

The page fees were attractive to postgraduate students and junior professionals who are usually required to have research results published in academic journals for promotion, an editor told a China Youth Daily reporter. The reporter had posed as a postgraduate student seeking to publish an article.

The reporter was told he could have his article published in the magazine for 600 yuan for each 2,400-word page.

The price was a bargain, the magazine's editor Wang Haitao said. It had been halved after the magazine was downgraded from a national core academic journal to an ordinary academic journal.

Though the editor said the magazine closely scrutinized all submitted articles to prevent plagiarism, the reporter managed to obtain a publishing agreement for an article he copied directly from a Website.

The magazine was removed from the list of national core academic journals because of its poor content, professor Cai Ronghua, who supervises appraisals, told the China Youth Daily.

She said the appraisal committee had heard that the magazine sold pages to make money.

Li Fan, deputy president of Business Modernization, defended the fees as a common practice by many academic journals throughout the nation.

He said the magazine was completely legitimate. He declined to reveal the annual income from "page fees."


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