Guest Post – Open Access in Japan: Tapping the Stone Bridge – The Scholarly Kitchen

“April Fool’s Day is not really a thing in Japan, so whereas many companies in the West tend to avoid the first of the month when making important announcements, it is in no way unusual that the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the nation’s second-largest public-sector research funder chose April 1st, 2022 to unveil its revised open access policy and implementation guidelines with a typical lack of fanfare outside of its home country….

Such a comparatively low-key approach is in line with past precedent as Japanese funding bodies such as JST, have typically opted for a light-touch and iterative approach to open access policies – which for the most part have been developed in consultation with publishers – in contrast to counterparts in other countries that have put forward more radical and headline-generating open access initiatives such as the US OSTP “Holdren Memo”, Plan S, and UKRI’s open access policy announced in mid-2021. Previous versions of the JST open access policy issued in 2013 and 2017 went little remarked upon in many open science circles and were notable for their conciliatory approach, in contrast to the openly-stated ambition to disrupt and reform the world of scholarly publishing of many other funders. Following this consultative tradition, the current policy was circulated in draft form to publisher members of CHORUS, of which JST is a participating funder, for comment prior to publication….

The most noticeable difference between the new policy and previous iterations is the introduction of an embargo period which stipulates that at minimum the Accepted Manuscript (AM) of any paper arising from a project submitted for funding to JST after the go-live date of April 1, 2022, must be made publicly accessible in an institutional or public repository in Japan within 12 months of publication of the resultant journal article. Whilst cautious by European standards, this is the first time that an embargo of any type has been included in the JST policy. In addition to AMs of research articles, the policy covers those of review articles and conference papers. While the revised policy signals a preference for the green route and does not mandate that the VoR be made available open access, publication as an open access article is a “permitted” route and under the new policy, APCs are fully reimbursable from grant money….

Furthermore, it is notable that both the policy and its implementation guidelines are silent on the twin subjects of transformative journals and transformative agreements. …

Advocates of faster and more radical transformation will probably lament the lack of clarity or silence on certain issues – such as a ban on publishing in hybrid journals and gaps around CC BY licensing for the AM – that have become totemic in many open access circles and offer a more lukewarm response. Those in the latter group may find some consolation in the knowledge that in Japan, caution does not necessarily indicate disapproval and is often regarded as a virtue, encapsulated in the phrase: ???????? (Ishibashi wo tataite wataru) “to tap on a stone bridge before crossing.” Cautious progress may initially be slower than those who rush headlong, but caution helps avoids missteps. And you’re still going across the bridge.”


Changing dynamics of scholarly publication: a perspective towards open access publishing and the proposed one nation, one subscription policy of India

Abstract:  In the midst of the most widely used subscription-based publishing model, open access publishing is gaining a foothold in the publishing world. India, as one of the world’s leading producers of scientific information, has seen a considerable escalation in the production of open access knowledge content, which has sparked a scholarly debate towards the availability and accessibility of scholarly knowledge to all. Despite the fact that two major science funding agencies of India, the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology, adopted an open access policy in 2014 to promote green open access to articles produced from publicly financed research projects, academic content still remains out of reach for everyone due to inadequate planning and implementation. Recently the Government of India has proposed a “one nation, one subscription” (ONOS) policy to make scholarly knowledge more accessible to Indian citizens. The study’s primary goal is to look into the open-access situation across many subject groups in India and globally. The aim is to understand whether a blanket subscription policy is the best way to facilitate the accessibility of scholarly knowledge or if subject-specific needs implications of other global OA initiatives are worth considering when implementing the ONOS policy.

ACS Publications commits its entire hybrid journal portfolio to become transformative journals – American Chemical Society

The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has committed its full portfolio of more than 60 hybrid journals, which offers both open access and subscription-only content, to become Plan S-aligned transformative journals. This development represents a major step in ACS’ long-standing commitment to open science, signaling a future in which all publications are open access (OA), and ensures that more authors can continue to publish in their chosen journal.

The CNRS encourages its scientists to no longer pay to be published | CNRS

As part of the CNRS open science policy, scientific articles must be available in open access. The CNRS encourages its researchers to turn to free publication models for both authors and readers. Deputy Director General for Science, Alain Schuhl details these recommendations.


Jisc and the Royal Society of Chemistry extend and expand open access publishing agreement

“Jisc and the Royal Society of Chemistry have extended and revised their transformative agreement until the end of 2024. Now utilising all previous expenditure to support open access (OA) publications, the deal covers all expected publishing output in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s hybrid journals portfolio….”

Three Paths to Open Access Handout

“Three Paths to Open Access is a handout that can be shared with researchers to provide an overview of three common options for making their work open access. The content can be edited to better reflect your institution’s open access support services. For a more in-depth exploration of this topic, see our YouTube video, Three Routes to Open Access: …”

The findings from publicly-funded research should be accessible to all – UKRI

“UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) new open access policy is based on one simple principle, that findings from publicly-funded research should be accessible to all. The policy was published in August 2021 and comes into effect on 1 April….

After wide-reaching and measured consultation we are setting that key requirement for journal articles, while addressing other issues including:

constraining costs (and increasing our funding to pay our way)
supporting multiple routes for both publishers and authors
aligning with other key funders such as Wellcome and the European Commission to simplify publishing for our authors.

Without preempting future decisions on research assessment, our funding body colleagues have committed to being no stricter on open access than the UKRI policy, again simplifying choices for authors.


This is a reset, but one that follows on naturally and very simply from Finch as we abolish embargoes and target the use of UKRI funds to avoid increased costs. In essence, it is as simple as no embargoes, no hybrid payments….”

News & Views: Open Access Charges – Continued Consolidation and Increases – Delta Think

“Each year we survey the list Article Processing Charges (APCs) of a sample of major and significant publishers. Covering over 18,000 titles, and going back to 2016, our data set represents one of the most comprehensive reviews of open access pricing.

Our market sizing has previously suggested that fully OA and hybrid prices are converging and consolidating. The latest analysis of list prices suggests that prices are now becoming more widely distributed as publishers optimize prices across their portfolios. Prices in general are increasing….

To compare like for like, we analyze non-discounted, CC BY charges. Overall, list prices continue to increase slowly:

Last year, high-impact journals began to offer OA options, which led to above-average price increases. This year, overall price increases have fallen back to their underlying averages.
The highest prices for fully OA journals have risen from $5,560 to $8,900. The maximum is due to one outlier1: Cell Press’s Patterns (published by Elsevier). Springer Nature’s Nature Communications takes second place at $5,560. Otherwise fully OA (“gold”) journals usually top out at around $5,200 to $5,300.
Outliers aside, Fully OA journal APCs are less expensive than hybrid, averaging around 57% of hybrid average APCs. Last year it was 58%.
The average hybrid APC has increased by 2.6%. This is just under half the increase we saw last year, but remains larger than the 1% or so increases over the previous few years.
The average fully OA APC has increased by 1.3% compared with the previous year. This is a lower than average increase, perhaps explained by the above-average increases we saw last year….”

OA Leaders on Advancing the BOAI: Interview with Dr. Johan Rooryck

“In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), Scholastica reached out to OA leaders to get their take on the progression of the OA movement over the last two decades and recommendations to help advance fully-OA publishing in the years to come.

Kicking off the series, we welcome to the blog Dr. Johan Rooryck, Executive Director of cOAlition S, professor of linguistics at Leiden University, and editor-in-chief of the Diamond OA title Glossa: a journal of general linguistics. In the interview below, Dr. Rooryck shares his take on major OA publishing milestones up to this point and the essential roles all stakeholders have to play in advancing the BOAI principles to realize the founding vision of a future of free and unrestricted access to peer-reviewed research for all curious minds….”

Contribution of the Open Access Modality to the Impact of Hybrid Journals Controlling by Field and Time Effects

Researchers are more likely to read and cite papers to which they have access than those that they cannot obtain. Thus, the objective of this work is to analyze the contribution of the Open Access (OA) modality to the impact of hybrid journals. For this, the research articles in the year 2017 from 200 hybrid journals in four subject areas, and the citations received by such articles in the period 2017-2020 in the Scopus database, were analyzed. The journals were randomly selected from those with share of OA papers higher than some minimal value. More than 60 thousand research articles were analyzed in the sample, of which 24% under the OA modality. As results, we obtain that cites per article in both hybrid modalities strongly correlate. However, there is no correlation between the OA prevalence and cites per article in any of the hybrid modalities. There is OA citation advantage in 80% of hybrid journals. Moreover, the OA citation advantage is consistent across fields and held in time. We obtain an OA citation advantage of 50% in average, and higher than 37% in half of the hybrid journals. Finally, the OA citation advantage is higher in Humanities than in Science and Social Science.

Open Access at Nature Metabolism | Nature Metabolism

“The future of science is open and the publishing landscape is changing as a result. The transition from subscription to open access (OA) publishing is irreversible. The benefits of OA for authors are obvious: by making the final version of a research article — the version of record — free to read and discoverable for everyone, OA allows researchers’ work to reach a broader audience and to make a bigger impact.

Since January 2021, all authors of newly submitted manuscripts can benefit from these advantages, as they can now choose an OA publishing option when their work is accepted for publication in Nature Metabolism. OA publication is supported by payment of an article processing charge of €9500, which is typically paid by the authors’ institutions and funding bodies, or is covered by ‘transformative agreements’ (more on these below)….”

Gold open access—A new era for the Journal of Dairy Science – Journal of Dairy Science

“An ongoing goal of ours has been strengthening the reputation and reach of the Journal of Dairy Science, and a priority has been to provide worldwide and rapid access to journal content to drive impact. We know that supporting innovative content stokes reader interest and sets new platforms for scientific discovery. As such, this move to gold open access has many advantages. First, each author’s work will have increased exposure by enabling access to all readers. Additionally, by publishing in JDS under gold open access, authors can comply with the requirements of many funding agencies and will be in alignment with the Plan S initiative of cOAlition S ( for open access science publishing. The open access model also supports our many partners of public institutions who can now avoid “double paying” to publish and to read JDS content. Gold open access will enhance access to JDS content for dairy scientists and dairy industry professionals in developing countries. JDS remains committed to supporting and participating in AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture), a program of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. As with any change, we recognize that this move will bring about some challenges. For example, research-intensive institutions will likely carry greater burdens in supporting publication activities. Open access also brings greater complexity to the ADSA and Fass staff as they work to manage and project workflows and finances under the new model. The ADSA Board of Directors will utilize the superfund to provide a discount for ADSA members to publish in JDS. This superfund member discount will reduce the $1920 APC (the “list price”) to $1600, a savings of $320 per article. Our members represent a global community of dairy scientists; by belonging to ADSA, members enjoy many benefits in addition to reduced APCs, including lower ADSA Annual Meeting and Discover Conference registration fees and access to the online symposium library; members also receive deeply discounted rates to S-PAC among other benefits ( Perhaps most importantly, being a member of ADSA presents numerous opportunities to get involved in the association, acquire leadership skills, and contribute to this scientific and professional community.

As you can imagine, the switch from a hybrid journal to an open access journal requires a high degree of communication and coordination. The following sections describe how this change will happen and what you can expect to see over the next few months….”

Are journal archiving and embargo policies impeding the success of India’s open access policy? – Koley – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  India’s primary science funding agencies, the Department of Science & Technology, and the Department of Biotechnology (DST & DBT) together formulated an open access (OA) policy in 2014. This policy mandates immediate self-archival of research articles generated from publicly funded research across all the institutions in suitable repositories. But with inadequate infrastructure and awareness, the OA mandate did not flourish as expected. This paper aims to understand whether journal policies impede the prospect of DST-DBT OA policy and the possible routes to achieve policy compliance. The analysis presented in this paper tracks down the journal self-archiving policies of the top 50 popular journals (among Indian authors) from each of the six STEM fields—Biology, Chemistry, Clinical-Medicine, Engineering, Materials science, and Physics. The results show that most journals have an embargo of 12–24?months on self-archiving of the post-print (final author version after peer-review), which contradicts the DST-DBT OA mandate. The study also reveals that hybrid journals dominate, and article processing charges craft a new form of inequity for Indian STEM researchers. We expect that these findings will be helpful for the funding agencies to restructure their policies, and negotiate with journal publishers to resolve the contradictions.




Open Access Publication and Article Processing Charges (APCs) in Japan Report on the FY2020 Survey

JUSTICE conducted a survey on the number of published articles written by researchers who belong to institutions in Japan, Open Access availability, and total estimated APC costs. For this survey, we used the Web of Science article level metadata file provided by Clarivate Analytics to the National Institute of Informatics (NII). The survey results were published with permission from Clarivate Analytics. This report is an updated version of the FY2019 Survey.

Analysis shows further growth in OASPA member journals output: CC BY dominates whilst content consolidation grows – OASPA

“OASPA members were invited to share their data to update the previous post on this topic which was published on the OASPA blog at the end of 2020 (we also published OA book data this year). Journal information shared here by OASPA covers the number of open access articles across all journals (including hybrid) and the license under which those articles were published, up to the year 2020. Figures were supplied as number of articles published per year since implementation of the license by that publisher. See the downloadable spreadsheet for full details. …

2 publishers now account for 50% of OASPA members’ output; 5 account for 75% of it. This represents a greater consolidation over last year, where the top 3 together covered over 50% and the top 6 over 75%. While the top publishers are the same, the order has changed slightly from previous years. MDPI, Springer Nature and Frontiers remain the top three (although if we add Hindawi’s output to that of Wiley, then Wiley would come in 3rd). …”

The volume of publications from OASPA members continues to grow. Just under 2.7 million articles were published by members in the period 2000-2020. Over 579,000 of these were published in 2020, representing a growth of around 28% over the previous year.  The number of articles published each year reported by members has grown around 13x from 2011 to 2020. 


CC BY in fully OA journals continues to dominate output. However, beneath the headlines lie some interesting nuances, especially around articles in hybrid journals….”