ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor database and information publisher ProQuest said Thursday that it is joining forces with China Academic Library and Information System to provide first-ever global access to abstracts of the graduate output of 80 Chinese universities.

English-language metadata and abstracts Proof 400,000 works will be added to ProQuest Dissertation and Theses database, enabling researchers to discover them in the context of nearly 3 million works from around the world.

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The agreement with CALIS is the first of several planned initiatives to bring important Asian content to PQDT .

CALIS is a nationwide academic library consortium, funded primarily by the Chinese government, under the leadership of the Ministry of Education. Its goal is to promote, maintain and improve library resource sharing among Chinese universities, between academic libraries and other libraries and information institutions.

“This agreement with ProQuest, which makes our universities’ graduate works accessible to other universities around the world, is absolutely consistent with our mission,” said Jiang Airong, project manager of dissertation and theses of CALIS. “We’re excited about the contribution these works can make in advancing global knowledge.”

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“Chinese universities are extraordinarily prolific and their academic output is growing dramatically,” said Austin McLean, ProQuest’s director of dissertations publishing. “We’re opening a new avenue to this essential and emerging research by surfacing these dissertations for the global academic community. Through this dramatic improvement in discovery of work by Chinese researchers, PQDT will provide a more accurate reflection of the global research space.”

Over the past two decades, China has had one of the world’s largest growth rates in Ph.D. production. The State Council Academic Degrees Committee reported in 2008 that China had turned out 50,000 PhD’s in 2006, up from just 19 in 1983. ProQuest anticipates that by 2014, China will be the global leader in dissertation creation and expects to add metadata for 60,000 new dissertations and theses each year.

Current content being added is focused in Science and Technology, including new research in the areas of “green” energy and sustainability.  However, researchers in all areas — from literature and the humanities to education and social science — will make intriguing discoveries within the new content.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses is the seminal repository of intellectual property and emerging research from the world’s great universities. Chosen by the United States Library of Congress as the official archive of American dissertations, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, whose precursor was begun in 1939, now encompasses more than a quarter of a billion pages, creating a unique, continually growing trove of emerging research and landmark works. Researchers rely on ProQuest Dissertations & Theses as both a source of enlightening information and as a pivotal component in making their own scholarly production available to the world’s intellectual communities. The archive is managed at ProQuest by a team of scholars and technologists, who combine their talents to make the archive accessible, reliable and supported by continually advancing technology.

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