Japanese Universities Launch SPARC Japan

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon

New Initiative Supports Development of Japanese Scientific Journals,
Strengthens Japanese Scholarly Societies

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2006

For more information, contact:

Jennifer McLennan,
(202) 296-2296 x121

Kenji Koyama,

Tokyo and Washington, DC - SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today announced the launch of SPARC Japan, a collaboration of Japanese academic institutions and scholarly societies working to promote and make widely available the work of Japanese researchers. SPARC Japan (http://www.nii.ac.jp/sparc/) is an initiative of the Tokyo-based National Institute of Informatics (NII), a national research institute which unites Japanese academic librarians, scholars, researchers, universities and learned societies to support initiatives that improve scholarly communications in Japan.

SPARC Japan is supported by more than 600 university libraries affiliated with library associations, including those of national, private and prefectural/municipal university libraries. As an authorized SPARC affiliate in Japan, SPARC Japan will create initiatives that encourage improved access to Japanese research and support expanded institutional and scholarly community roles in, and control over, the scholarly communication process.

"Japan is among the top contributors to scientific research worldwide. The launch of SPARC Japan will promote access to Japanese research so that others may benefit from our progress," said Jun Adachi, SPARC Japan Director and Professor at NII. "SPARC Japan will partner primarily with Japanese scientific societies to make their research widely available, while our close association with NII will facilitate the enhancement of Japanese university libraries' open access institutional repositories. These initiatives have been officially recognized and approved by the government in its working report on the Japan Cyber Science Infrastructure, and the overwhelming support we have received so far indicates a great need in the scholarly publishing community that SPARC Japan has already begun to fill."

"The creation of SPARC Japan highlights the growing worldwide momentum behind SPARC's mission to improve access to research, empower scholarly societies, and return control of individual works to the author," said SPARC Director Heather Joseph. "The innovators behind SPARC Japan saw the barriers faced by researchers in promoting and disseminating their achievements, and they responded pragmatically. We are proud they chose to organize under SPARC's auspices."

SPARC Japan has already lined up a number of publishing partners. They include the UniBio Press, a non-profit aggregation of biological journals such as the international journal Zoological Science and leading mathematical journals such as Tohoku Mathematical Journal, Japanese Journal of Applied Physics (JJAP), and others. (For a complete list of SPARC Japan partners, please seehttp://www.nii.ac.jp/sparc/partners/index.html.) Several of these partnerships were originally developed in coordination with SPARC partners BioOne and Project Euclid.

SPARC Japan's objectives and activities are generally consistent with those of SPARC and SPARC Europe. Specific goals for SPARC Japan include implementing advocacy and education programs that will benefit librarians, faculty and journal publishers; supporting library-initiated programs; contributing to policy development; and developing a community-wide understanding of copyright in the Japanese legal environment.

SPARC Japan will also facilitate broad worldwide access to Japanese scientific research by digitizing journals; developing self-sustaining cost-recovery models; and implementing academy- and author-responsive intellectual property policies and licensing terms.


SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), SPARC Europe, and SPARC Japan are an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. SPARC's advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs reduce barriers in the dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc/.