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Our mini-interview with J-STAGE

We were delighted when Japan’s largest platform for academic e-journals J-STAGE became the first content provider to pass a  COUNTER Release 5 audit. Our Project Director interviewed the team at J-STAGE to ask them about their experience. Here are the questions and answers.

Congratulations on being the first publisher to pass a COUNTER Release 5 audit. Can you please tell us about J-STAGE and the content you publish?

Answer from the J-STAGE team: It is a great honor for us that J-STAGE is the first platform to pass a COUNTER Release 5 audit.J-STAGE is an electronic journal platform launched in 1999 by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). It provides more than 4.8 million articles in over 2,700 titles of peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings and other types of publications issued by Japanese academic societies. The contents cover 25 disciplines of basic sciences, life sciences, medical & health sciences, engineering, interdisciplinary sciences, humanities and social sciences. About 90% of the articles on J-STAGE are free to read.


Why is compliance with Release 5 important to J-STAGE and to your customers?

Answer from the J-STAGE team: : J-STAGE has two missions. First, to disseminate Japanese journals in mainly science and technology fields, along with humanities and social sciences. Second, to promote open access. As a world-class journal platform, it is important to comply with international standards including COUNTER to achieve the first mission mentioned above.


Can you tell us about your preparations for the COUNTER audit, and share any tips for other publishers preparing for their audit?

Answer from the J-STAGE team: We changed our system to support COUNTER Release 5 in November 2018. As we planned to release it in February 2019, we had to pass the audit by then. Since it was the first time, neither our contracted audit corporation nor JST could sufficiently understand the COUNTER Release 5 audit. Due to interpretation uncertainties and misunderstandings regarding audit methods, we had to double check with the audit corporation and do a few retests. In addition, as a result of making inquiries to COUNTER, we learned that the documents had been revised. So, it was important to refer to the latest versions of the documents on the COUNTER website and to check the audit methods in advance. We hope other publishers trying to conduct COUNTER Release 5 audits will prepare well and carry out their audits successfully.

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