January 29, 2020 / 7:51 AM / 21 days ago

China science database scraps paywall to aid virus battle

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A major scientific database run by China’s Tsinghua University has made its contents available free of charge from Wednesday in order to help researchers work from home, following a virus outbreak in the central city of Wuhan.

The death toll in the epidemic rose sharply to 132 and the first case appeared in the Middle East, as concern mounts after China’s health authorities said the number of confirmed cases had jumped by 1,459 to 5,974.

The China National Knowledge Infrastructure project (CNKI.net) said it would drop its paywall for all users until July 1, in an effort to help researchers share information.

“In extraordinary times, we pledge that resources and services will always be with you,” it said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the coronavirus was the term most frequently searched in the database, which has more than 120 million users who downloaded 2.3 billion full-text research reports last year, according to its website.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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