The IPA today applauds the move by Cambridge University Press (CUP) to restore online access to its scholarly output in China, and urges the Chinese authorities not to penalize the publisher for its decision.
IPA President Dr Michiel Kolman said: ‘CUP deserves credit for restoring full access to its China Quarterly output, but we wait to see what consequences the publisher will face. It is the IPA’s duty to challenge censorship wherever it occurs, because freedom to publish is fundamental to our association and to publishers worldwide. State attempts to control the flow of information, especially in the digital space, are short-sighted and misguided. There is no upside to censorship – it simply hampers human progress and stimulates fear and resentment.’
Kristenn Einarsson, chair of the IPA Freedom to Publish Committee, said: ‘CUP has done the right thing in withstanding the pressure from Beijing. This attempt to conceal content that contradicts the Chinese Communist Party’s preferred narrative was a deplorable attack on academic freedom and the freedom to publish. Both principles are essential to the advancement of the sciences, and indispensable to progressive, participative societies and successful knowledge economies.’
The IPA will continue to follow the matter closely, including through dialogue with its Chinese member, the Publishers Association of China.