ACIAC Seminar "Open Knowledge and Digital China: Open Access, Networked Technologies and the Transformation of Publishing and Scholarship"

ACIAC seminar 1


Date: Thursday, 6 April 2017
Time: 11.30 am - 1.00 pm
Venue: EB.G.18, Parramatta Campus (South), Western Sydney University


Our knowledge systems are undergoing a profound transformation driven by open access, networked technologies, disruptive innovations, and various kinds of 'open' ethos in science, education and communication. In this paper, I would like to critically rethink open knowledge, with focuses shifting from advocacy to complexity and diversity. I will examine the open knowledge developments in the context of 'digital China', as well as the impacts of China's rising open knowledge systems. The driving question is: Is there a unique Chinese model of open knowledge? I will start with the Chinese interpretation of openness and then use open access publishing as a case study to analyse the disruption and transformation of knowledge systems, as well as the complex interplay between governments, institutions, markets, and social production in developing and governing an 'open' system in China. I will also discuss the transformative potential of open knowledge for China's digital innovation, digital inclusion, and the China-led digital globalisation, as well as the barriers to change in the Chinese context.


Dr Xiang Ren is a postdoctoral fellow in the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture and a member of Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. His research interests include: digital communications and Chinese cultures, open access and open knowledge, and new models of publishing. He has published widely on relevant topics.

Ren completed his PhD in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) at Queensland University of Technology, receiving the University's outstanding doctoral thesis award. This was followed by a research fellowship in Australian Digital Futures Institute where he conducted conceptual and design- and evaluation-based research on open publishing and open scholarship.

Prior to his academic career, he has spent more than a decade working in the Chinese publishing and media industries as senior editor and sales director. He is an active advocate of open access and digital publishing innovation and has led and participated in many research and innovation projects in these fields in Australia and China.