2022 - All Press Releases

Pioneering OA agreement in Asia signed between Springer Nature and Japanese universities, including the University of Tokyo

London | Japan - 21st November 2022

Joint statement to promote Open Science in Japan also agreed with members of the Research Universities Consortium

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.  

This innovative agreement allows researchers from the signatory bodies to publish OA in over 2000 journals published by Springer Nature, and will:

  • Increase the global visibility of Japan’s academic research
  • Enable more researchers to publish their work OA and benefit from the increased citations and downloads it provides 
  • Contribute to the improvement of research outputs and global presence of the participating universities
  • Facilitate sustainable access to Springer Nature’s wide range of academic journals
  • Provide for a more equitable approach to OA amongst Japan’s universities 

Importantly, it will allow universities to transition at a speed suitable for their institution by offering the opportunity to fully or partially transform to OA.  For example, it will initially see all papers from authors at the University of Tokyo and Tokyo Institute of Technology published Gold OA, meaning they will be immediately available for all to use and reuse from the point of publication. Additionally, a further eight academic institutions are committing to partially transition and will see over 50% of papers from their authors published fully OA. 

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

Commenting, Dr. Amane Koizumi, Project Professor, National Institutes of Natural Sciences which is an organising member of Research University Consortium (RUC) said:

“It is of great significance that as many as ten national and private universities and Springer Nature have worked together to progress the opening of research and its outputs and information of Japan to the global community.  We will continue to make efforts to facilitate more universities in joining this engagement.”

Carolyn Honour, Chief Commercial Officer, Springer Nature, said, 

“I am delighted that Springer Nature will be partnering with such prestigious Japanese universities and research institutes as they transition to making their research immediately available for all to use from the point of publication. We know that OA 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 realise these benefits and increase the global reach of their research.  

“I am also pleased that Springer Nature and members of the Research University Consortium (RUC) have committed to work together to promote the benefits of Open Science. At Springer Nature we believe that It is 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.”  

The participating universities will retain reading access to all existing journals to which they currently have access. Other RUC member universities are invited to join the agreement. 


Notes to Editors

The participating 10 institutions, which includes one non-RUC member, are:

  1. Tohoku University
  2. The University of Tokyo
  3. Tokyo Institute of Technology
  4. Yokohama National University
  5. University of Fukui
  6. Osaka University
  7. Kobe University
  8. Okayama University
  9. Waseda University
  10. Tokyo University of Science

The joint statement can be found here

About the Research Unviersities Consortium (RUC)

The Research Universities Consortium (RUC) comprises universities and inter-university research institutions. It was created in 2018 in response to the urgent need of the research community in Japan to strengthen “the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom” by enriching the products and output of all research universities.  RUC aims to promote networking amongst universities, share pioneering engagements and activity and make such engagements and agenda available nation-wide. Since its inception, it has dealt with research capability analysis, transmission of information, blending of academic fields and other high priority areas.  As required, the RUC also makes representations to the Ministry of Education on how to improve research policy and research capability.

As of April 1st, 2021, RUC is composed of 33 national-funded or private-funded universities/graduate universities and three government research institutes.

RUS website in Japanese language only can be found here.

About Springer Nature

For over 180 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies. 

As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to trusted brands including Springer, Nature Portfolio, BMC, Palgrave Macmillan and Scientific American. For more information, please visit springernature.com and @SpringerNature


Susie Winter | VP External Communications | Springer Nature