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To researchers, let’s work on what each of us can do to revive Japan’s research capabilities

May 7, 2024

The Japan Science Technology Agency (JST) held a symposium entitled "Urgent Symposium: Why is attraction of the Japanese research publications declining, and what should we do?" During this symposium, various opinions were shared on what each of stakeholders such as government and policy makers, funding agencies, research institutions (e.g., universities), and researchers and the research community, should do to improve Japan’s research capabilities.

JST believes that each stakeholder working in their respective capacities is crucial, and we will take the lead in implementing the initiatives that incorporate what we discussed this time. Furthermore, we will consider what JST can do and implement it immediately. Moreover, JST will make necessary requests to relevant ministries and agencies; simultaneously, we will actively deliver our requests to universities, other research institutions, the research community, and individual researchers.

As part of this effort, this article introduces the opinions expressed in the symposium, especially for researchers and the research community. We hope that researchers use this article as a reference for future efforts to revive Japan’s research capabilities.

*The opinions presented here are based on the views of the individual speakers and contributors and do not represent the institutions to which they belong and nor do they represent the conclusions of this symposium.

  • Improving the quality of research and papers as well as designing and sharing research vision
  • ・Selecting journals with global visibility in mind
  • ・Setting research themes with strategies
  • ・Strengthening research planning ability, raising awareness for logic and story structure, and mentoring young researchers
  • ・Fostering a culture of active discussion among researchers (e.g., within the academic community, university colleagues, students)
  • ・Securing time and environment to discuss research vision
  • ・Sharing and building research themes through discussion of proposal development
  • Promoting internationalization of research activities
  • ・Breaking away from an "inward-looking orientation" and actively engaging in international exchanges
  • ・Producing high-quality research results to join cutting-edge networks
  • ・Ensuring opportunities for students and young researchers to engage in international exchange
  • Developing next-generation human resources
  • ・Delivering the enjoyment and appeal of research and offering inspirational guidance to the next generation of researchers
  • ・Providing opportunities to gain overseas experience
  • Securing research funds (including promotion of public understanding)
  • ・Considering the impact and value that can be provided to the society
  • ・Refining methods of developing consensus on the importance of science and technology (not only for researchers but also for all stakeholders)