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China National Knowledge Infrastructure
Type of site
Digital publishing; Private
Available inChinese, English
OwnerTongfang Knowledge Network Technology Co., Ltd.
Launched1996; 26 years ago (1996)
Current statusActive

CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure; Chinese: 中国知网) is a private-owned publishing company in China since 2014.[1][2] CNKI maintains high annual subscription fees due to its de facto monopoly status on journal search in China. Because its subscription fee raised sharply every year, many elite Chinese universities and research institutions, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Peking University, have stopped subscribing to CNKI.[1][3][4][5]

CNKI owns a system called "China Integrated Knowledge Resources System," including journals, doctoral dissertations, masters' theses, proceedings, newspapers, yearbooks, statistical yearbooks, e-books, patents and standards.[6][obsolete source] 10 services centers have been established, in Beijing, North America, Japan, North Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.[citation needed] In January 2013, CNKI became the second designated DOI agent in mainland China, after the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (ISTIC) [zh].[7]

In May 2022, the State Administration for Market Regulation of China launched an antitrust investigation into CNKI for anti-competitive practices.[8][9] In June 2022, the Cyberspace Administration of China launched a probe into CNKI aimed at "pre-empting risks related to the security of national data and protecting national security."[10]


In June 1998, the China Academic Journals Electronic Publishing House (CAJEPH) was established, and the standardization system of Chinese academic journals was formally started.

In September 2014, CNKI signed a cooperation contract with the International Journal of Management, Economics and Social Sciences.[11]

In 2019, CNKI 2.0 was launched, which "makes fuller use of the Internet, big data and artificial intelligence" [12]

In May 2020, access controls to the academic resources database were tightened after a researcher in India drew public attention to a paper on six miners sickened by a possible forerunner of SARS-CoV-2.[13]

The first Forum on Future of World Academic Libraries (WAL) was held in the same year, with focus on future development of academic libraries and "service innovation". Worldwide experts in the field of knowledge innovation services were invited to explore the knowledge innovation paradigm, as well as service and operation modes.[14]

In 2022, it organized the "WAL Spotlight" Competence Development Program for World Academic Librarians to empower academic libraries. Domestic and overseas knowledge service experts in library research, information intelligence, big data and other fields were invited to give online lectures, sharing practical experiences, case analysis, and research findings in library work.[15]

In May 2022, the State Administration for Market Regulation of China launched an antitrust investigation into CNKI.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b "China's Top Research Agency Stops Using Costly Academic Database". SixthTone. 19 April 2022. Retrieved 2022-06-08.
  2. ^ "China's largest academic database CNKI put under cybersecurity review". South China Morning Post. 2022-06-24. Retrieved 2022-07-12.
  3. ^ "China's biggest academic database too expensive for its top research body". South China Morning Post. 2022-04-19. Retrieved 2022-06-08.
  4. ^ "Top research body cuts use of China's largest online academic database over steep fees". Retrieved 2022-06-08.
  5. ^ "北大因中国知网涨价暂停续订,此前多所高校已停用". Retrieved 2022-06-08.
  6. ^ 吴, 宇红 (April 2005). "CNKI and Utilization". 晋图学刊 (in Simplified Chinese). Shan Xi Library Journal (4): 78–79+84.
  7. ^ "DOI news" (PDF). International DOI Foundation. January 2013.
  8. ^ a b "How China's largest academic database allegedly abused market power for years". South China Morning Post. 2022-05-16. Retrieved 2022-06-08.
  9. ^ a b "China's biggest academic database faces anti-monopoly probe". Times Higher Education (THE). 2022-05-13. Retrieved 2022-06-08.
  10. ^ Huang, Raffaele (24 June 2022). "China Probes Operator of Nation's Biggest Academic Database". Wall Street Journal.
  11. ^ "IJMESS Indexing/ Abstracting/ E-Libraries and Search Coverage".
  12. ^ "中国知网CNKI 2.0 知识创新服务运行模式 (China Knowledge Network CNKI 2.0 Knowledge Innovation Service Operation Model)" (PDF). CNKI导报 (CNKI Newsletter) (in Simplified Chinese). 《CNKI导报》编辑部 (CNKI Newsletter editorial office) (37): 5. 2019-12-18. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  13. ^ How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media, Newsweek, 2 June 2021
  14. ^ "WAL 2020".
  15. ^ "WAL Spotlight".

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