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Press release

Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources (JUSTICE) and Elsevier strike agreement to accelerate open access publishing in Japan while providing continued access to quality research

Tokyo | October 12, 2023

140 universities in Japan have expressed interest in this agreement

Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources (JUSTICE)opens in new tab/window and Elsevier have established a transformative agreement in a major step forward in advancing global access to Japan’s scholarly publications through open access publishing. The three-year agreement will take effect from 2024 to 2026.

The agreement, the largest of its kind to date in Japan and Asia, aims to openly share and amplify Japan’s world-class research for the benefit of society.

To respond flexibly to the diverse needs of Japanese universities, JUSTICE and Elsevier held consultative discussions on ways to provide Japanese researchers access to quality academic journals and support them in publishing open access. The read-and-publish agreement will be made available through JUSTICE to Japanese universities.

57 member universities from the JUSTICE consortium were amongst the team that participated in the discussion of the proposal, whose collective input contributed to the development of this unique framework tailored to the specific needs of Japanese institutions.

140 universities, including those that participated in the discussions, have already expressed interest in the transformative agreement and will benefit from preferential terms if each university decides to opt into it.

Sawako Kojin, JUSTICE Steering Committee Chair who is also Director of the Administrative Department at Osaka University Library, said of the agreement: "For the first time, JUSTICE invited member libraries to participate in forming a negotiating team to hold discussions with Elsevier. We are deeply encouraged by the level of interest expressed by so many member libraries, which exceeded our expectations. We thank Elsevier for developing such a flexible framework that offers choice and helps address the needs of individual universities. While universities need to consider various factors and make adjustments before settling on a final contract, JUSTICE, in collaboration with Elsevier, will continue to work towards our shared goals of promoting open access publishing through the implementation of this transformative agreement and enhancing the global dissemination of Japanese research capabilities."

Dr. Osamu Watanabe, Executive Vice President responsible for research at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and a negotiating team member of the JUSTICE consortium, said: "In line with the global trend gravitating towards open access publishing, my university is actively pursuing a transformative agreement to enhance the dissemination of our university’s research. We are positive that this agreement with Elsevier will not only increase the research visibility of my university, but also the research results of Japan, especially those of early career researchers."

Gemma Hersh, Senior Vice President of Global Academic and Government Sales, Elsevier, said: “Elsevier is thankful for the deep collaboration with JUSTICE and its member universities, and excited about reaching a transformative agreement to serve both reading and open access publishing needs of Japanese institutions at scale. The agreement will help to accelerate global access to Japan’s cutting-edge research through open access publishing, benefitting both the Japanese and global scientific community. We remain committed to our longstanding partnership with JUSTICE and look forward to this next chapter in our journey to support Japanese research institutions.”


Notes for editors

The following is a list of the 57 JUSTICE member universities who participated in the proposal discussion with Elsevier, and unanimously concurred on the terms of the transformative agreement as JUSTICE members: Hokkaido University, Muroran Institute of Technology, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Kitami Institute of Technology, Iwate University, Tohoku University, Akita University, Yamagata University, Utsunomiya University, Saitama University, Chiba University, University of Tokyo, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ochanomizu University, Yokohama National University, University of Toyama, Kanazawa University, University of Fukui, Shinshu University, Gifu University, Shizuoka University, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, Osaka University, Kobe University, Nara Women's University, Okayama University, Tokushima University, Kyushu University Kyushu Institute of Technology, Saga University, Nagasaki University, Kumamoto University, University of Miyazaki, Kagoshima University, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Yokohama City University, Osaka Metropolitan University, University of Hyogo, Kochi University of Technology, International University of Health and Welfare, Aoyama Gakuin University, Keio University, Sophia University, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Toyo University, Tokyo City University, Waseda University, Teikyo University, Kanagawa University, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, and three other universities who declined to be identified.

The actual execution of the contract will be administered independently for each university, and not every university that has expressed interest in this agreement will opt in immediately. The contract commencement date for each university is yet to be determined at the time of this announcement.

Only the identity of the universities is listed, and not the libraries associated with the universities.

A transformative agreement is intended to gradually transform the fees paid by universities and other institutions to publishers for access to academic articles (subscription fees) into fees paid to publish academic articles via open access (article publishing charges).


Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resource (JUSTICE)opens in new tab/window promotes activities for providing academic information stably and continuously including e-journal that is essential for education and research activities of universities in Japan.

JUSTICE was formed on April 1, 2011 as a new consortium through an alliance between the Japan Association of National University Libraries (JANUL) and the Public and Private University Libraries Consortium (PULC). In line with the purpose of the “Agreement on Promotion of Collaboration and Cooperation” concluded on October 2010 between the Japanese Coordinating Committee for University Libraries and National Institute of Informatics (NII), various activities are being carried out with the primary objective of promoting the securing of electronic journals, including backfiles, and the establishment of a permanent access assurance system.

About Elsevier

As a global leader in scientific information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society. We do this by facilitating insights and critical decision-making with innovative solutions based on trusted, evidence-based content and advanced AI-enabled digital technologies.

We have supported the work of our research and healthcare communities for more than 140 years. Our 9,500 employees around the world, including 2,500 technologists, are dedicated to supporting researchers, librarians, academic leaders, funders, governments, R&D-intensive companies, doctors, nurses, future healthcare professionals and educators in their critical work. Our 2,900 scientific journals and iconic reference books include the foremost titles in their fields, including Cell Press, The Lancet and Gray’s Anatomy.

Together with the Elsevier Foundationopens in new tab/window, we work in partnership with the communities we serve to advance inclusion and diversity in science, research and healthcare in developing countries and around the world.

Elsevier is part of RELXopens in new tab/window, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information on our work, digital solutions and content, visit


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Jason Chan

Communications Director, Asia Pacific


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