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China Case Study: Help Desk

China Help Desk for a UK-based 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

The publisher was experiencing a welcome increase in the number of published papers and APCs from Chinese authors. However, they were struggling to keep ahead of the level of manuscripts.

Their problems included:

Manuscripts that were not relevant to the scope of the journal.

Author guidelines were either completely ignored or not followed.

Some submissions were difficult to understand due to their poor language.

Editors had to reject papers, before reaching peer review, when the research might have been sound.

Editors and staff were also receiving more and more inquiries from Chinese authors, increasing administrative time and effort.


The Charlesworth Group solution

Our expert team designed and implemented an online survey for the publisher.

Invitations were emailed to their author list, and also to target groups within our own author databases.

We set up dedicated help desk representation for their Chinese authors.

This service involves The Charlesworth Group’s expert staff:

• Answering phone calls from authors

• Giving information on journal policies.

• Providing support via dedicated email and social media.

• Logging queries, response times and reporting to the client.

• Providing feedback to support further marketing and/or editorial initiatives.

Simultaneously translating Author Guidelines into Chinese.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.

Our client also refers authors to Charlesworth Author Services to help increase the quality of the submissions from non-English speaking authors.


The outcome

The project delivered the desired effect within a very short time frame.

The number of inquiries from Chinese authors to the publisher’s editorial office reduced significantly.

The number of out-of-scope submissions reduced significantly.

The language quality of submissions improved overall.

How The Charlesworth Group’s China Expert Services can help

Contact us to find out how we can support your publishing goals in China