Springer Nature Signs Open-Access Agreement with Japanese Universities

In News by Porter Anderson

The new open-access agreement announced by Springer Nature is arranged with 10 members of Japan’s Research University Consortia.

The Akamon Gate at the Hongo campus of the University of Tokyo was built in 1827 by Nariyasu Maeda, 12th Lord of the Kaga, to welcome as his bride Lady Yasu, a daughter of the 11th shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Its position today is 15 meters west of its original location. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Ranmaru

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Springer Nature’s New Agreement Comprises 10 Institutions
Today (November 21), Holtzbrinck’s Springer Nature is announcing what it says is the largest transformative agreement in Japan, comprising the engagement of 10 institutions that will generate the open-access of close to 900 articles in the coming year.

The University of Tokyo is among the institutions participating in the accord, and the program will allow researchers open-access publication from those facilities in more than 2,000 Springer Nature journals.

As for the “transformative” nature of these contracts’ name, this one will allow the engaged universities “to transition at a speed suitable for [each] institution,” by offering the opportunity to fully or partially transform to open access.”

As an example, the company points to a plan to see all papers from authors at the University of Tokyo and Tokyo Institute of Technology published gold open access, which as Publishing Perspectives readers know, means that they’ll be immediately available for all to use and re-use from the point of publication.

“Additionally,” today’s media messaging says, “a further eight academic institutions are committing to partially transition and will see more than 50 percent of papers from their authors published fully open-access.

Nine of the participating institutions are members of Japan’s Research University Consortia (RUC), with the Tokyo University of Science participating following an agreement by the executive member of RUC.

In a prepared statement for today’s announcement, Amane Koizumi, the project professor with Japan’s National Institute of Natural Sciences—an organizing member of the Research University Consortia—is quoted, saying, “It’s of great significance that as many as 10 national and private universities and Springer Nature have worked together to more forward the opening of research and its outputs and information of Japan to the global community.

“We’ll continue to make efforts to facilitate more universities in joining this engagement.”

Carolyn Honour

And for Springer Nature, its chief commercial officer, Carolyn Honour, says, “We know that open-access articles are used more, downloaded more, and enjoy greater impact. This pioneering agreement, designed to take into account the needs of the Japanese research community, is therefore an important step in ensuring that Japanese researchers are able to realize these benefits and increase the global reach of their research.”

Honour also points to the fact that “Springer Nature and members of the Research University Consortium have committed to work together to promote the benefits of open science.

“At Springer Nature, we believe that it’s only by making all elements of a research output openly available—the data, code, methods etc.—that we can collectively find solutions to the world’s biggest challenges, such as climate change.”

Springer Nature adds in a note that the participating universities will retain reading access to all existing journals to which they currently have access, and other consortia member-universities are invited to join the agreement.”

The 10 participating universities as of today’s announcement are:

  • Tohoku University
  • The University of Tokyo
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Yokohama National University
  • University of Fukui
  • Osaka University
  • Kobe University
  • Okayama University
  • Waseda University
  • Tokyo University of Science

You can have a look at the joint statement, as updated on November 7, here.

Among the gingko trees on the University of Tokyo’s Hongo campus. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Oasis Me


More from Publishing Perspectives on Springer Nature is here, more on open access is here, and more on scholarly and academic publishing is here

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About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.