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School gives nod to web publishing

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-19 07:19

Material shared online can receive same status as academic work

Works by students and faculty that are widely shared online can now be recognized as having the same status as academic papers, according to guideline issued by Zhejiang University.

New rules introduced on Sept 8 state that only works posted or republished by mainstream media websites will be eligible.

Works can include original articles, audiovisual materials and animations.

Three levels of online works are covered by the new rule. Works published by the three major Party newspapers - People's Daily, Guangming Daily and Qiushi Journal - with more than 20 reposts by mainstream media will be ranked as first-class academic work, while those published in other major media will be ranked as second or third class, according to the number of reposts. Sina Weibo, WeChat and major media apps are also among the platforms.

"The new evaluation system is meant to encourage our teachers and students to post more valuable opinions on the internet, building a healthy cyberspace," said Ying Biao, head of publicity for Zhejiang University.

The university's trial of accepting online works as equivalent to academic papers, the first of its kind, has spurred debate among tutors and students because papers are a major standard used for promotions and awards.

"Academia has its own norms. Some academic works have made a great contribution, but few people might want to read them. It is impossible to evaluate academic works by their popularity on the internet. Academia is bound to be profound and not easy to understand," said Zhang Qianfan, a professor at Peking University Law School.

The new evaluation trend could have an effect on students whose academic performance used to be judged solely by their academic papers.

"The new regulation is designed with the good intention of diversifying the academic evaluation system. And I think it is especially beneficial to liberal arts students. But more detailed rules are needed since there are always some who seek loopholes," said Sun Mengqiong, a master's degree candidate at Zhejiang University.

"I feel that academic articles and online media works are totally different in principle. It is unreasonable to evaluate academic performance through online works," said Ma Mengting, a doctoral student at Renmin University of China.

Li Hongyang contributed to this story.

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