Researchers support preprints and open access publishing, but with reservations: A questionnaire survey of MBSJ members – Ide – Genes to Cells – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Since the 1990s, journals have become increasingly online and open access. In fact, about 50% of articles published in 2021 were open access. The use of preprints (i.e., non-peer-reviewed articles) has also increased. However, there is limited awareness of these concepts among academics. Therefore, we conducted a questionnaire-based survey among members of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan. The survey was conducted between September 2022 and October 2022, with 633 respondents, 500 of whom (79.0%) were faculty members. In total, 478 (76.6%) respondents had published articles as open access, and 571 (91.5%) wanted to publish their articles in open access. Although 540 (86.5%) respondents knew about preprints, only 183 (33.9%) had posted preprints before. In the open-ended section of the questionnaire survey, several comments were made about the cost burdens associated with open access and the difficulty of how academic preprints are handled. Although open access is widespread, and recognition of preprints is increasing, some issues remain that need to be addressed. Academic and institutional support, and transformative agreement may help reduce the cost burden. Guidelines for handling preprints in academia are also important for responding to changes in the research environment.


Tokyo Institute of Technology Partners With Taylor & Francis in New Read and Publish Agreement | STM Publishing News

“Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Taylor & Francis have announced a new three-year transformative partnership to increase the publication of open access (OA) articles by researchers at the leading science and technology institution.

Under the agreement, articles with a corresponding author based at Tokyo Tech will receive funding support to publish OA in Taylor & Francis and Routledge Open Select (hybrid) journals.

Tokyo Tech is the first member of the Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources (JUSTICE) to opt in to a new ‘read & publish’ deal negotiated by the consortium. The agreement also ensures Tokyo Tech users can continue to read all the Taylor & Francis journals the library subscribed to in 2022….”

How was the transition to open access advanced in 2022? | Research Information

“Undoubtedly, 2022 has been a year of growth for open access (OA). Funder policies and deadlines have come into play and, as a result of the pandemic, the impact and benefits of open research and open access are now better understood by people beyond academia. 

Overall, two themes featured strongly – the need for OA take up to become more global and the importance for authors to remain able to publish in their journal of choice. Taken together these themes were instrumental to enabling OA growth in 2022….

And when we look at the policy developments that have taken place this year with a number of countries reviewing their approach to OA and considering policy recommendations to speed up the transition, this move beyond Europe is likely to continue:

US- The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)) has updated the US policy guidance to make the results of taxpayer-supported research immediately available to the American public at no cost

Australia – Australian funding agency, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), has introduced the requirement that scholarly publications arising from the research it funds be made freely available and accessible

India – the Ministry of Education has announced the deadline for the launch of the “One Nation, One Subscription” (ONOS) policy for scientific research papers and academic journals from April 2023 to ensure countrywide access for researchers and the broader public.


Come 2023, we are likely to see even greater take up by authors of OA. Moreover publishers, such as Springer Nature, continue to be ready to work with funders and others to ensure that these policies drive the OA transition in a sustainable way while ensuring the needs of the researchers continue to be met. For a long time we have had the ‘supply’ (the ability to publish OA), what we have been waiting for is the ‘demand’ (authors wanting to publish OA)….”

Pioneering OA agreement in Asia signed between Springer Nature and Japanese universities | Corporate Affairs Homepage

Springer Nature has agreed the largest Transformative Agreement in Japan with 10 institutions participating in an innovative pilot. This will see nearly 900 articles published OA in the coming year, marking a significant step forward to Open Science in the region.  


Oxford University Press unveils landmark Read and Publish deal in Japan | Oxford University Press

The world’s largest university press­, Oxford University Press (OUP), has today announced a transformative three-year Read and Publish agreement with major journals consortium, the Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources (JUSTICE).

Asia tipped to follow US lead on open access | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Asian research powerhouses will introduce open access (OA) mandates within the next “two to three” years, experts have predicted, in the wake of last month’s landmark order by the Biden administration.

Under the US decision, the published results of federally funded research must be made immediately and freely available to readers, starting from 2025. This follows the introduction of similar rules across Europe and the UK, spearheaded by the Plan S initiative.

Home to four of the top 10 research-producing countries – China, Japan, South Korea and India – Asia now appears poised to become the next battleground….”

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.”


Japan Science and Technology Agency revises its open science policy

JST revised JST Policy on Open Access to Research Publications and Research Data Management (JST Open Science Policy) in consideration of recent trends of Open Science both inside and outside Japan in April 2022. This policy defines JST’s basic stance on Open Access to research publications and management of research data resulting from research projects funded by JST. Researchers who participate in those projects are required to handle research results appropriately complying with this policy.

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.

Japan LIVE Dashboard” for COVID-19: A Scalable Solution to Monitor Real-Time and Regional-Level Epidemic Case Data

Abstract:  Under pandemic conditions, it is important to communicate local infection risks to better enable the general population to adjust their behaviors accordingly. In Japan, our team operates a popular non-government and not-for-profit dashboard project – “Japan LIVE Dashboard” – which allows the public to easily grasp the evolution of the pandemic on the internet. We presented the Dashboard design concept with a generic framework integrating socio-technical theories, disease epidemiology and related contexts, and evidence-based approaches. Through synthesizing multiple types of reliable and real-time local data sources from all prefectures across the country, the Dashboard allows the public access to user-friendly and intuitive disease visualization in real time and has gained an extensive online followership. To date, it has attracted c.30 million visits (98% domestic access) testifying to the reputation it has acquired as a user-friendly portal for understanding the progression of the pandemic. Designed as an open-source solution, the Dashboard can also be adopted by other countries as well as made applicable for other emerging outbreaks in the future. Furthermore, the conceptual design framework may prove applicable into other ehealth scaled for global pandemics.


Elsevier and Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources agree on proposal for subscription framework with measures to support Open Access goals

The Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources (JUSTICE) and Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, have successfully reached agreement on a new three-year proposal for subscription publishing with measures to support Japan’s open access (OA) goals, beginning January 1, 2021.

Digital Humanities Research Platform

“The Academia Sinica Digital Humanities Research Platform develops digital tools to meet the demands of humanities research, assisting scholars in upgrading the quality of their research. We hope to integrate researchers, research data, and research tools to broaden the scope of research and cut down research time. The Platform provides a comprehensive research environment with cloud computing services, offering all the data and tools scholars require. Researchers can upload texts and authority files, or use others’ open texts and authority files available on the platform. Authority terms possess both manual and automatic text tagging functions, and can be hierarchically categorized. Once text tagging is complete, you can calculate authority term and N-gram statistics, or conduct term co-occurrence analysis, and then present results through data visualization methods such as statistical charts, word clouds, social analysis graphs, and maps. Furthermore, Boolean search, word proximity search, and statistical filtering, enabling researchers to easily carry out textual analysis.”

ROIS-DS Center for Open Data in the Humanities (CODH)

“Center for Open Data in the Humanities / CODH, Joint Support-Center for Data Science Research, Research Organization of Information and Systems has the following missions toward the promotion of data-driven research and formation of the collaborative center in humanities research.

1. We establish a new discipline of data science-driven humanities, or digital humanities, and establish the center of excellence across organizations through the promotion of openness.
2. We develop “deep access” to the content of humanities data by state-of-the-art technologies in the area of informatics and statistics.
3. We aggregate, process and deliver humanities knowledge from Japan to the world through collaboration across organizations and countries.
4. We promote citizen science and open innovation based on open data and applications….”