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….”

AI Making Ancient Japanese Texts More Accessible | NVIDIA Blog

“Natural disasters aren’t just threats to people and buildings, they can also erase history — by destroying rare archival documents. As a safeguard, scholars in Japan are digitizing the country’s centuries-old paper records, typically by taking a scan or photo of each page.

But while this method preserves the content in digital form, it doesn’t mean researchers will be able to read it. Millions of physical books and documents were written in an obsolete script called Kuzushiji, legible to fewer than 10 percent of Japanese humanities professors….”

Sharing research with academia and beyond: Insights from early career researchers in Australia and Japan – Merga – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Quality scholarly research outputs, such as peer reviewed journal articles published in reputable journals, are essential for early career researchers’ (ECRs) vocational success while also offering benefits for their institutions. Research outputs destined for audiences beyond academia are also increasingly valued by funders, end users, and tertiary institutions. While there is an expectation that ECRs may create diverse research outputs for an array of audiences, the kinds of research output texts produced by ECRs for varied audiences warrants further investigation. In addition, the routes of dissemination that ECRs use to share their academic research outputs to secure impact beyond academia are not well understood. Drawing on semi?structured interviews of 30 respondents in Australia and Japan, we explore the research?sharing practices of ECRs, finding that ECRs may potentially create a wide range of research?informed texts for end users beyond academia, using an array of methods for dissemination. The examples of the output text types and dissemination routes we provide in this paper can be used to inspire ECRs and also more senior academics to share their research more broadly, and perhaps more effectively, and can be used by publishers to improve research impact and support ECRs’ research translation.

 

The University of Tsukuba and F1000 Research lead the way in Open Science with first open research publishing gateway to publish in Japanese – F1000 Blogs

“Today, the University of Tsukuba has announced that it has signed a contract with F1000 Research Ltd to develop the first open research publishing gateway that will enable researchers to publish in either English or Japanese.

Not only will the publishing gateway make it simple for authors affiliated with the University of Tsukuba to publish any research or data they wish to share rapidly, openly and transparently, but it will also enable those studying the humanities and social sciences to choose whether to publish in English or in Japanese.

Indeed, English holds a preeminent position as the “lingua franca” in international scientific communication, despite the majority of the world’s scholars not possessing English as their first language. This does not necessarily mean, however, that studies published in other languages are of less value or quality.

This forward-thinking publishing approach means that researchers specializing in fields such as humanities and social sciences will be able to publish in an international journal but choose which language they feel most comfortable writing in, as well as what befits their field of study the most.

Indeed, the humanities and social sciences fields are where publishing in a regional language would enable more profound understanding and knowledge sharing, given these academic disciplines are often dedicated to the study of philosophy, history, literature, society, law, economy, and so on of a specific culture. Japanese language research articles will include abstracts and metadata in both Japanese and English, and will be indexed in relevant bibliographic databases in both English and Japanese….”

The University of Tsukuba and F1000 Research lead the way in Open Science with first open research publishing gateway to publish in Japanese – F1000 Blogs

“Today, the University of Tsukuba has announced that it has signed a contract with F1000 Research Ltd to develop the first open research publishing gateway that will enable researchers to publish in either English or Japanese.

Not only will the publishing gateway make it simple for authors affiliated with the University of Tsukuba to publish any research or data they wish to share rapidly, openly and transparently, but it will also enable those studying the humanities and social sciences to choose whether to publish in English or in Japanese.

Indeed, English holds a preeminent position as the “lingua franca” in international scientific communication, despite the majority of the world’s scholars not possessing English as their first language. This does not necessarily mean, however, that studies published in other languages are of less value or quality.

This forward-thinking publishing approach means that researchers specializing in fields such as humanities and social sciences will be able to publish in an international journal but choose which language they feel most comfortable writing in, as well as what befits their field of study the most.

Indeed, the humanities and social sciences fields are where publishing in a regional language would enable more profound understanding and knowledge sharing, given these academic disciplines are often dedicated to the study of philosophy, history, literature, society, law, economy, and so on of a specific culture. Japanese language research articles will include abstracts and metadata in both Japanese and English, and will be indexed in relevant bibliographic databases in both English and Japanese….”

Thought Experiment on the Impact of Plan S on non-Plan S countries and Japan

Abstract:  In September 2018, a consortium of eleven European research funding agencies known as cOAlition S announced “Plan S,” which requires full and immediate Open Access to all research publications stemming from projects funded by the agencies. The goal of making research output openly available to all has been generally welcomed; however, the strict requirements of Plan S, which take effect on January 1, 2020, have drawn criticisms from various stakeholders. Researchers from affected countries considered it a violation of their academic freedom, as they will be forced to publish only in conforming journals. Publishers, especially those publishing high profile journals, claim that it will be impossible to sustain their business if forced to convert to Open Access journals and to rely solely on article processing charges. Institutions operating their own Open Access platforms or Open Access repositories view the requirements as well-intended but difficult to meet. Despite the turmoil, little has been heard from non-Plan S countries, especially from non-English speaking countries outside Europe. There have been scarcely any comments or analyses relating to the impact of Plan S on these non-Plan S countries. This paper aims to fill the gap with a thought experiment on the impact of Plan S requirements on various stakeholders in these non-Plan S countries. The analysis concludes that non-Plan S countries are indirectly affected by Plan S by being forced to adapt to the world standard that Plan S sets forth. As many non-Plan S countries lack support for this transition from their respective funding agencies, they will be seriously disadvantaged to adapt to the new standards. The article processing charge for publishing in Open Access journals and the strict requirements for Open Access platforms could suppress research output from non-Plan S countries and reduce their research competitiveness. Local publishers, whose financial position in many cases is already precarious, may be forced to shut down or merge with larger commercial publishers. As scholarly communication is globally interconnected, the author argues the need to consider the impact of Plan S on non-Plan S countries and explore alternative ways for realizing full and immediate OA by learning from local practices. This analysis uses Japan as an exemplar of non-Plan S countries.