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NSSF report aims to increase transparency

“The 2013 Annual Report on National Social Science Fund” (NSSF) was recently released. Written by the National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science, which administers the NSSF and ranks the results of the research projects it sponsors, the report aims to increase the fund’s influence and transpar­ency. Totaling 27,000 characters, the report details the design, review and mid-term management process of sponsored proj­ects, as well as how projects’ results are evaluated, how funding is used and how findings are disseminated. In publishing this information, the National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science hopes to provide objective, comprehensive and accurate information on NSSF-sponsored research.



Five Chinese universities jointly train masters in big data

On May 19, five Chinese universities launched a joint collabora­tive innovation program to train masters’ students in big data analysis at Renmin University of China. The five universities include Renmin University of China, Peking University, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Central University of Finance and Economics and Capital University of Economics and Business. The program will also sign cooperation agree­ments with several government departments and links in in­dustry. The first class of 50 students will start this fall.



Nature: ‘Realizing China’s urban dream’

“Local implementation and public scrutiny will make or break the government’s urbanization strategy”, comments an article co-au­thored by Xuemei Bai, Peijun Shi and Yansui Liu published on May 8 in Nature. According to the article, facilitating urbanization on the regional level and public supervision will be crucial to the suc­cess of China’s national urbanization strategy. They recommend that regional leaders turn from quantitative goals to a system of evaluation indexes, and incentives be put in place for adopting sus­tainable development policy. Stressing the relationship with rural conditions, they urge the government to provide social protection, infrastructure and a good environment for farmers as well.



Confucius Institute celebrates 10 years

A range of participants from Chinese higher education gathered at South China Normal University in Guangzhou to reflect on the Confucius Institute’s past and current challenges on May 11 at the “Symposium on the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Confucius Institute”. Attending scholars praised the international teaching institute’s tremendous accomplishments in the last de­cade, but noted that it needs to improve teaching quality. Addition­ally, some of its textbooks are not adequately tailored to the local cultural habits, scholars commented, suggesting that they diversify textbook offerings.



Russia’s Asian Strategy (Chinese edition) published

On May 16, the Russian Embassy at Beijing held a launch ceremo­ny for the Chinese edition of Russia’s Asian Strategy, written by Mikhail Leontievich Titarenko, fellow and director of the Far East Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences. The event accompa­nied a celebration of Titarenko’s 80th birthday. As a warm-up to the ceremony, Titarenko spoke on Russia’s Asian strategy at CASS on May 14, observing that Russia is turning its focus from West to East as a new strategy framework for Russia’s role and engage­ment in Asia emerges.



Study finds flexible approach best for online media revenue

Media outlets can maximize online revenue with the right balance between free and paid content, according to a study by Kanishka Misra, an assistant marketing professor at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and Anja Lambrecht at the London Busi­ness School. Analyzing the amount of free articles versus content behind a paywall on ESPN.com, the two researchers found that news and sports websites can boost total revenue by a flexible ap­proach that satisfies customers. The right balance maintains prof­its from advertisements by continuing to draw a high volume of casual users, while attracting a substantial base of paid subscribers who want full access.

(Edited and translated by Bai Le)