Information Studies


George Cooper

George Cooper UCL
I’m a journals Managing Editor at Routledge, Taylor & Francis and a PhD candidate at UCL’s Centre for Publishing in the Department of Information Studies.

Research summary

The focus of my research is the involvement of academic publishers in restricting access to politically sensitive content in China.

In 2017, Cambridge University Press and Springer Nature removed over 1,300 journal articles (combined) from their online platforms in China at the request of state regulators. In 2018, Taylor & Francis removed 83 journals from their sales packages in China to maintain market access. The publications affected included keywords such as ‘Tiananmen’, ‘Tibet’, and ‘Cultural Revolution’. My research responds to these events.

Central research questions include:

  • Under what conditions are disruptions in scholarly research distribution a form of censorship?
  • Has the removal of sensitive content from journal platforms had a meaningful impact on research in and about China?
  • Are academic publishers capable of resisting further demands to remove content at the request of state regulators?
  • Can this be done collaboratively via a trade body, such as the International Publishers’ Association?
  • Is it in publishers’ interests to do so?

My primary research includes surveys and interviews with journal authors, editors, and publishing professionals. I’m also experimenting with quantitative methods, such as text mining and sentiment analysis, to test the hypothesis that removing content from journal platforms encourages self-censorship.


First: Dr Samantha Rayner

Second: Professor Annemaree Lloyd and Dr Anna Sexton

Contact details

Email: george.cooper.18@ucl.ac.uk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geocooper

Twitter: @georgekupar

Personal website: www.hamoyo.com