What’s happening with Springer-Nature?

A little bit of China gazing:

A Major Science Journal Publisher Adds A Weird Notice To Every Paper. What’s Behind This?

So what happened? Springer Nature, it seems, added this note because of pressure from the Chinese government. The Chinese government doesn’t want any maps to show Taiwan, and it doesn’t want any affiliations to from scientists in Taiwan unless they show (incorrectly) that Taiwan is part of China. In late 2017, the New York Times reported that Springer was “bowing to pressure from the Chinese government to block access to hundreds of articles on its Chinese website.” According to the Times, Springer removed articles on topics that the Chinese objected to, including Taiwan, Tibet, human rights, and Chinese politics. A Springer spokesperson at the time admitted that they’d removed many articles, but said they did it “to prevent a much greater impact on our customers and authors.” Their argument was that it was better to get at least some of their journals to Chinese scientists, even if others were censored.

A little bit of historical context:

Leading Western Publisher Bows to Chinese Censorship – The New York Times

Springer Nature, whose publications include Nature and Scientific American, acknowledged that at the government’s request, it had removed articles from its mainland site that touch on topics the ruling Communist Party considers sensitive, including Taiwan, Tibet, human rights and elite politics.

I wonder how China can make them bow to their wishes. I haven’t seen any kowtowing to other “democracies”. Interesting. Is this good for academia? Censorship based on what one particular country deems offensive?

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