The rapid increase in Chinese research and development spending will not ensure the country's place as an innovation leader unless more is done to disseminate findings nationally, writes Lan Xue in Nature.
Chinese scientists, like those in other developing countries, pride themselves on publishing articles in internationally recognised journals such as those listed in the Science Citation Index (SCI) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI).
This leads to research being published in a language that few researchers in China understand and at prices that few of them can afford, Xue says.
"This trend could have a devastating impact on the local scientific publications and hurt China's ability to apply newly developed knowledge in an economically useful way," Xue says.
Both the SCI and SSCI lists must be re-evaluated to allow inclusion of quality local journals. In addition, the panel that decides which journals are included on these lists should comprise members from all across the globe, Xue suggests.
Developing countries must also invest in translation services so that information can be gleaned more efficiently. They could follow the example of Japan, a world leader in making scientific information available to the public in the local language, Xue says.