Re: 17% GREEN in Japan

From: Subbiah Arunachalam <>
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 08:58:39 +0530

Dear Prof. Syun Tutiya and friends:

If many or most Japanese researchers are not aware of OA, the best thing to
do is to launch an advocacy campaign. In India too, we face the same
problem. Even today many publishing scientists in India - at all levels,
from Ph D students to senior professors, deans and vice chancellors and
directors of research laboratories - are blissfully ignorant of open access.
Librarians in large academic and research institutions are somewhat better
informed, but the understanding of many of them is hazy at best.

We have to continually write about OA and its advantages, what happens
elsewhere in the world, who the great champions are and what they say, etc.
and we should write to different audiences, viz. researchers, library and
information professionals, policymakers in academia, government, research
councils, etc., newspaper readers, and so on.

Mobilization of opinion both among the people concerned with research and
among the general public is an important step in spreading the culture of OA
in any country, developed or developing. Even if local experts are
knowledgeable, it helps to get a few overseas experts to visit and tour the
country giving talks and meeting people in different cities. We in India had
invited Stevan Harnad, John Willinsky, Alma Swan, Jean-Claude Guedon, Leslie
Chan, Barbara Kirsop and Leslie Carr, for example.

Another key step is to conduct a number of hands-on workshops for people who
want to (or whom we want to!) set up open access archives.

Also we should talk about OA in many electronic discussion forums and
wherever possible join hands with people advocating Open Source, Open Data,
and e-Science.

One thing I have learnt in the past five years is that the mere greatness of
an idea or practice would not win adherents! Or mere knowledge is not
enough. Tremendous amount of persuation is needed. All of us know smoking
and drinking are harmful to health, and yet many highly educated people are
not leaving those habits!

Another lesson is while it is important to get folks at the higher level -
institutions such as Unesco, CODATA, ICSU, Internet Institute - we must
realise that it is the bench level scientist and middle-level librarian who
will eventually do the actual job of setting up and populating OA archives.

Wish OA in Japan (and elsewhere) best of luck.

[Subbiah Arunachalam]

----- Original Message -----
From: "Syun Tutiya" <tutiya_at_KENON.L.CHIBA-U.AC.JP>
Sent: Saturday, March 11, 2006 1:14 AM
Subject: Re: 17% GREEN in Japan

> Dear Stevan and all,
> Some backgrounds to the Japan survey and some personal comments.
> 1. We sent out the questionaire to all scholarly societies whose
> addresses we know. So they range from the smallest and the
> largest. Some publish international journals in English and some do
> only national journals in Japanese.
> 2. The number of societies and that of journal titles are very close,
> as there are no large enough societies that publish many enough
> titles. There are virtually no commercial publishers in Japan that
> publish scholarly journals in English. That is why we asked
> societies that publish, not publishers in general.
> 3. So to me, Stevan's INTERPRETATION I is correct. Japan differs from
> the rest of the publishing world. But it is not because Japanese
> publishing is different from the rest of the publishing world but
> because, few Japanese society publishers are players in the
> worldwide publishing arena.
> Note, though, that Japanese research community produces more than
> 10% of resaerch articles published by Thomson Scientific's
> registered journals, second only to the US. That fact could be
> interpreted to corroborate Stevan's INTERPRETATION II. More than
> 80% percent of Japanese research results are accessible in the
> English-language internaltional journals publshed by non-Japanese
> publishers, which are either for-profit or not-for-profit.
> But for Japanese researchers, research results published and
> available in Japanese are also important, and students benefit very
> much from reading research results in their native language. That
> is why we asked all Japanese societies which publish journals at
> all.
> 4. Stevan's INTERPRETATION III suggests three possibities which are
> not mutually exclusive:
> A. The survey was not easily understandable by Japanese
> societies
> B. Japanese societies are not imformed of the development
> of OA in the rest of the world
> C. both of a. and b.
> I think the C. is right, but I would add that the survey was not
> easily understable to Japanese societies not because of the wording
> but because of B. Those in charge of composing the questionaire
> were very ambivalent between the fear of not being understandable
> from insufficient explanation and the fear of not being answered
> from too much explanation. I personally think they did a good job,
> but in face there are witnessed cases where their intentions did
> not get through to respondents.
> Stevan suspects that in some cases the survey was treated
> mechanically within publishers, but in so doing he overestimates
> the size and functioning of Japanese socieites. I hear that in
> many cases the survey was discussed not only editorial but
> governing boards sometimes without any conclusion, hence the
> 40% response rate.
>> The three interpretations are not mutually exclusive, but my guess is
>> that
>> the truth is more a combination of II and III than I.
> All in all, the truth is the combination of I, II and III.
> Syun
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Syun Tutiya
> Professor of Cognitive and Information Sciences, Chiba University
> University Librarian, Chiba University
> Address: Faculty of Letters, Chiba University
> 1-33 Yayoicho, Inageku, Chiba 263-8522, JAPAN
> (phone) +81-43-290-2277(office)2240(libray) (fax) +81-43-290-2278(office)
> (mail) (uri)
> (Institutional Repository:CURATOR)
Received on Sat Mar 11 2006 - 03:57:30 GMT

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