SPARC Japan

Tokyo copy

OLH Founder and Co-Director Dr Martin Eve recently travelled to Japan after being invited to speak at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Collection (SPARC) Japan event, "The Front Line of OA in Humanities and Social Sciences” on the 23rd August, 2013 at the Tokyo National Institute of Informatics.

Martin was part of a lively programme, which included the following speakers:

  • Professor Reiko Aoki (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University) 
  • Dr Hitonari Ishii (Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University)
  • Tetsuya Suzuki (Kyoto University Press)
  • Dr Kuniyoshi Ebina (Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University)
  • Kazuko Matsumoto (Information & Media Center of Science & Technology, Keio University)

As Martin writes on his website, the event was a welcome chance to enagage in dialogue about open access publishing beyond the US and Europe:

Pro-OA members of SPARC Japan seemed heartened by the OA mandates coming out of the UK, but are still waiting for their government to act. Without a top-down compulsion, they noted, they have achieved low rates of IR deposit and cannot justify APCs from their institutional budgets. They are particularly wary of double-dipping and are interested in exploring transition mechanisms. The Gold = APC myth also seemed prevalent among the substantial audience. A distributed subsidy mode was well-received and the free-rider problem seemed not to be at the forefront of people’s thinking, especially if the pitched amount was low enough to be an easy sign-off.

So, that’s most of what I think I learned. I felt shamefully ignorant visiting Japan; I spoke virtually no Japanese and was confronted with a culture that seemed totally alien to my background. My hosts were gracious and generous and my translators put in an amazing effort despite my technical vocabulary. I felt, though, that the dialogue was extremely productive; I came away feeling less ignorant (both culturally and of persepectives on OA) and enamoured by the prospect of returning to Japan. This, I felt, was exactly the kind of worldwide dialogue that has often been missing, in my perspective, from OA debates.

For more information about the event, please see the conference programme here and the conference flyer here. You can read Martin's blog post in full on his website.

Image by Padmanaba01 under a CC BY-SA license.

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