Business of Academic PublishingSocial Media Outreach A Powerful Tool for Research Dissemination and Strengthening Academic Brands in China

Creating a digital presence in China can be challenging for academic publishers, societies, and journals, because of the country’s unique information behaviors, digital infrastructure, and powerful local tech giants. Nevertheless, with the country moving to be the largest producer of research output worldwide, it is becoming increasingly important for academic publishers, journals, and societies to engage more deeply with the Chinese research community, in order to meet various organizational goals. China’s social media and web platforms have accordingly attracted a great deal of attention from Western publishers and societies. Among these, stands out as an important tool for digital engagement with Chinese academia.

See also: Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent: What Academic Publishers and Societies Need to Know About China’s Tech Giants

What is

Founded in 2018, is a popular scientific research website among Chinese researchers. It integrates English research papers and their Chinese introduction (a news article created by the mainstream media, the publisher, or the authors) into a novel system that allows users to quickly grasp the essence of a new study, while providing one-click access to the paper and the journal when readers are interested in learning more. This service is particularly popular among undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and independent young researchers. also provides services like journal recommendation, career guidance, an academic job portal, and a journal social media impact index. It so far has attracted more than 15 million unique visitors from the fields of life sciences, material sciences, information sciences, earth sciences, interdisciplinary sciences, and engineering.

The platform has become one of the main marketing partners of academic publishers in China. It has been used to promote journals, author services, brand activities, and other campaigns by Springer Nature, IEEE, Higher Education Press, Taylor & Francis, Wiley, MDPI and other well-known publishing brands both within and outside China, helping publisher and journals increase their presence among Chinese academia.

If an organization is on WeChat, why does it need

WeChat is undoubtably crucial for engaging with Chinese academia, given its widespread use for not just networking among researchers in China but also in sharing and keeping up with research advances. In 2021, took the lead in launching “Ranking of Academic Journals Impact on WeChat,” in partnership with Impact Science. This ranking quantifies a journal’s presence on WeChat, China’s most important social media platform for academic communications and marketing activities. The ranking has covered more than 3000 academic journals (both domestic and international) as well as more than 200 academic publishers. also provides in-depth quantitative insights obtained by mining the data of over 2000 of China’s most influential WeChat public accounts that focus on research communication. These insights pertain to the journals’ communication mode, marketing efficiency, and stakeholder participation and contribution to the journals’ social impact.

See also: WeChat for Academia: 3 Scientific Accounts with High Engagement


Organizations need to craft a unique and bespoke strategy to succeed in a new country, adapting to local digital infrastructure. can be a valuable addition to publishers’, societies’, or journals’ digital engagement strategy in China. The platform can provide valuable insights as well as opportunities for organizations trying to increase their presence in the country’s rapidly growing research ecosystem.

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