Open Access

What is open access?

Open access means making research outputs available on the Internet, permitting anyone to access them at no cost.

Benefits of open access:

  • increase the visibility of research outputs
  • lead to increased citation of research outputs
  • raise the profile of the researcher
  • satisfy the open access mandate of the funding bodies
  • contribute to the progress of academic activities through publication and sharing of research outputs

How to make your academic papers open access

You have two basic ways to make your papers open access.

Green open access

Authors make their final manuscript or preprint accessible on their own website or their institution’s repository (“self-archiving”).

Most of the major international publishers have a policy on self-archiving by authors and provide terms and conditions that authors should comply with, such as embargo period and appropriate credit.

Gold open access

Authors make their published articles accessible to everyone for free.

One way to do this is to contribute your article to a fully open access journal. Now, a number of fully open access journals are published. More than 7000 titles are contained in Scopus as of January 19, 2024.

In many cases, publication cost of fully open access journals is covered by article processing charges (APCs), which are paid to the publisher by the contributor.
In addition to fully open access journals, there are subscription-based “hybrid journals”, which offer an open access option at an additional cost.

In recent years, it is said that there are increasing number of what is called “predatory” journals, which accept and publish articles regardless of the quality of the paper in order to collect APCs.
 If your paper is published in a journal which may be recognized as malicious, your credibility and career as a researcher may be compromised.
Please be especially careful about choosing a journal to submit your article to, by using the tools as described below.

Open access at Osaka University

Osaka University Open Access Policy

Osaka University developed the Osaka University Open Access Policy on April 17, 2020 with the aim of disseminating the University’s research outputs and intellectual resources widely, both locally and globally.

This policy stipulates that Osaka University will provide open pubic access to the research outputs of faculty members published in academic journals via Osaka University Knowledge Archive (OUKA) or by other means chosen by the author.

Please refer to the links below for information about the Osaka University Open Access Policy and how it is implemented.

Osaka University Knowledge Archive (OUKA)

Osaka University Knowledge Archive (OUKA) is an institutional repository of Osaka University. OUKA electronically archives research papers and other academic results produced by educational and research activities of Osaka University, which are then made available to the public.

Faculty and staff members and students can make their research outputs available to the public via OUKA at no cost.

Please refer to the following links for how to use OUKA, terms and conditions and more information.

Other support services for open access publishing

Osaka University now provides proofreading and editing services for researchers who plan to contribute English papers to academic journals. The university also provides financial aid for payment of APCs.
Please refer to the following pages for further information.

Osaka University faculty and staff members and students may be entitled to an waiver or discount depending on the subscription or other agreement concluded between the University and publishers. Please refer to the following page for further information.

【Information】Domestic and international trends

International trends

Originating from the Serials Crisis (increasing cost of academic journals) which began in 1980s, open access publishing has, with the involvement of researchers, libraries, publishers, universities, research institutions, funding bodies, state governments and other stakeholders, developed into a major movement which decides the global future trend of academic information distribution.

Researcher communities
  • Subject-based repositories, including arXiv, have been established in a variety of academic fields.
  • In the area of high energy physics, SCOAP3, an international open access project, has been continuously implemented.
  • A majority of publishers permit self-archiving of research outputs by authors.
  • Fully open access journals and hybrid journals, which optionally allow open access publishing for APCs paid at the time of submission, are published.
    • More than 14,000 titles of open access journals are registered with DOAJ.
    • More than 7,000 titles of open access journals are registered with SCOPUS.
Universities and research institutions
  • Many universities and research institutions have established their own open access policies and demonstrate their position as supporters of open access.
    • ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies) contains more than 1000 open access policies adopted by research institutions and departments.
Research funding bodies
  • Many funding bodies mandate open access publishing as a condition for funding.
    • ROARMAP contains 85 open access policies adopted by research funding bodies.
  • Libraries are discussing journal subscription agreement with publishers in consideration of open access publishing of research papers.
  • Libraries implement public relations activities such as Open Access Week held in October every year and disseminate information for the promotion of open access.

* The numbers in the table were confirmed as of January 19, 2024.

Trends in Japan

Open access is promoted also in Japan as a country-leading initiative.

The Cabinet Office
  • The Integrated Innovation Strategy 2023  (June 2023) includes, among other objectives, “promotion of open access to scholarly publications and scientific data”. The government will develop a national policy to promote immediate open access to scholarly publications and scientific data for which competitive research funds are used, starting from application in FY2025.
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
  • “JST Policy on Open Access to Research Publications and Research Data Management (2017)” stipulated that all publications resulting from research projects should be made publicly available in principle.
  • JST has published more than 5 million articles open access on J-Stage, an e-journal platform.
Japan Society for the Promotion on Science (JSPS)
  • The open access implementation policy of JSPS (2017) stated that the Society will address the issue of open access publishing, in principle, of research papers funded by grants from the Society

* The numbers in the table were confirmed as of January 19, 2024.

University libraries, including us, are working as important supporters of open access in cooperation with other organizations within or beyond the university boundary in order to promote open access publishing of research outputs.