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July 2024

Japan's deadline is approaching for immediate open access publication of some nationally funded research

From 2025, Japan is set to mandate immediate open access publishing of research papers for studies funded by certain competitive research funding programs. As of February 2024, four such programs are currently subject to the new rules for immediate open access publishing. This marks a further shift towards making research freely accessible to the public.

However, as this deadline approaches, Times Higher Education has reported that many researchers seem unprepared for the transition. A survey, conducted by the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, found that 60% of researchers and 30% of university and research institute officials are unaware or unclear about the new policy.

The government has established a fund to help institutions pay the article processing charges (APCs) to publish open access, but concerns about rising APCs remain. Also, there are few leading open access publishers in Japan, meaning that part of the public research funds could be redirected to major publishers abroad. More government information about the policy is eagerly awaited.



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