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The International Scholarly Communication Initiative (SPARC Japan) is a project of the National Institute of Informatics to strengthen the electronic journals of the scholarly publications of Japan’s academic societies. Its goal is to keep in the hands of Japanese researchers the outstanding research results that they currently publish abroad and to further promote international dissemination of research results. Progress in the digitization of scholarly journals has stimulated a rapid change in the way research results are distributed; however, scholarly journals in Japan have not kept pace with this trend toward digitization and international distribution.

The project was launched in 2003 through support by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and it encourages digitization of scholarly journals, especially English language journals published in Japan, with SPARC Japan Publishing Partners. The aim is to create a self-sustaining cost-recovery model that will enable stable transmission of Japanese scholarly journals and improve their name recognition overseas.

We have started phase 5 from 2016, and the basic policy is to promote open access and to encourage further distribution of scholarly information and academic resources, cooperating with domestic and international OA initiatives and organizations on the matters concerned. Especially, collaborating with SPARC, we will announce activities for open access in Japan to overseas. To promote open access, we seek to identify the issues and continue advocacy activities, pointing to enhance a sense of participation of librarians and researchers for encouragement of distribution of scholarly information and academic resources, while strengthening much more working with the Institutional Repositories Promotion Committee and the Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources (JUSTICE) under the Cooperation Promotion Council which links between the National Institute of Informatics (NII) and university libraries.

Phase 1 : 2003-2005
Phase 2 : 2006-2009
Phase 3 : 2010-2012
Phase 4 : 2013-2015
Phase 5 : 2016-2018

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