A Request to Authors and Progress Report on the Digital Archival of the Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies

To all authors who have submitted articles to the JIBS:

At the meeting of the board of directors of the Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies held on September 4, 2007, it was decided that the Association should move forward with the necessary copyright and licensing procedures in order to make all the articles (including summaries, book reviews, etc.) from past editions of the journal (from the first edition of Indogaku Bukkyōgaku Kenkyū 印度學佛教學硏究, published in 1952, to the hundredth edition published in 2003) publicly available on the internet.

However, in order to do this, it meant we needed to get permission to use a total of 10,044 articles from 2,169 authors. Although we did as much as we could to obtain as many of these licenses as possible, we were unfortunately only able to get permission for 7,071 articles, leaving us with over 3,000 articles that we were unable to obtain the permissions necessary to make them publicly available.

At that point, after looking at the examples of similar digital archival projects already being carried out by the Japan Association of Sociology of Law (Nippon Hō-shakai Gakkai 日本法社会学会), the Japan Association of Legal Philosophy (Nippon Hō-tetsugaku Kai 日本法哲学会), and the Japan Legal History Association (Hōsei-shi Kenkyū Gakkai 法制史研究学会) among others, the the Board of Directors decided to implement the following policy to handle the issue:

  1. For copyright holders that we are unable to contact (i.e. those who are deceased, or those whose copyright has expired), we will try to get in touch with them by placing a notice on the organization’s homepage.
  2. For articles that we have received notification from the copyright holder by September 30, 2009 that they withhold permission to use their work, these articles will be left out of the digital archival process from the beginning. For articles with no such notification from the copyright holder, we will take this to indicate an implicit license for its use, and will move forward with the digital archival process.
  3. In light of the fact that this licensing procedure is insufficient at best, in the case that a copyright holder or the holder of a copyright through inheritance denies us the right to digitize and make their work publicly available during the process of digitization, or anytime thereafter, we will take measures to suspend public access to the document in question as soon as possible.

On the whole, although this method of dealing with the problem seems to be the opposite of what would be ideal, considering the situation more broadly, we think that this is the most appropriate means to realize what we believe, to be the general intention of the copyright holders.

In this regard, we ask that all authors of articles (including summaries, book reviews, etc.) published in past editions of the JIBS who we have not yet been able to contact, to please take the steps listed below:

  1. For those copyright holders who would not like their article to be digitized and made available to the public, please contact us in this regard via fax, e-mail, or mail at the address listed below with a message specifying the title of the article and the volume and page number of the issue it was published. Please note that the titles, volume numbers, and page numbers of articles published in past issues can found easily using the search function or index page of the Indian and Buddhist Studies Treatise Database (INBUDS) found at http://www.inbuds.net.
    In the case of articles with multiple authors, if any single author denies us the rights to have their work digitized and made publicly available, we will take this to apply to the entire article in question.
    (Address: 113-0033; Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Hongō 3-33-5; Hongo Building, 2nd floor; The Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies; ℅ Tokyo Daigaku Bukkyō Seinen-kai; Tel/Fax 03-5684-8612; E-mail:
  2. For articles that we have not received notification from the copyright holder refusing the rights to reproduce their work by September 30, 2009, we will take this to indicate an implicit license to use the work, and will proceed with the digital archival process. (As indicated above, in the case that we receive such notification from the copyright holder after this date, we will take measures to discontinue public access at that time.)

Therefore, for authors without any specific intent to withhold the rights to reproduce their work, or for those authors whom we have already contacted and received permission to use their work, there is no need to take any additional action. We appreciate your cooperation in this regard.

Naturally, the board of directors hopes that through digitization of as many published articles as possible, they may be able to be viewed, read, and referenced by colleagues throughout the world for as long a period as possible. To this end, we would like to thank all of our contributors their support and understanding to help complete this project.



In the near future, the JAIBS plans to make past editions its organizational journal, The Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, available to the public at no cost by incorporating it into the website of the academic journal digital archival project, J-STAGE (https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/), sponsored by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST, the Kagaku Gijustu Shinkō Kikō 科学技術振興機構, an Independently Administered Institution).

It has been nearly half a century since JIBS began publication, and in that time, there are many people who have either passed away, or whom the Association does not have up-to-date contact information. Regardless of this, the Association, with the help of many people, has made every effort to contact our members via mail,(including individuals whose membership had lapsed), or to contact the descendants of members who have passed on, and in cases where we could not reach them through the mail, to further try to contact them by phone.

The work on the project to verify article copyright privileges began in the latter half of 2007, and was scheduled to go until the data was made publicly available sometime in 2009. As for articles published in issue one hundred and later, according to the “Rules regarding the publication and use of articles” (Ronbun keisai, riyō ni kansuru kisoku 論文掲載・利用に関する規則) printed in volume 51, issue no. 1 of the JIBS, the Association now retains the right to digitize and make the content of its journal freely available to the public.

As a journal dedicated solely to academic interests, the editors of the The Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies believe that the primary intent of the authors who generously submit their work to us is to express their most developed ideas and, through our journal, to let their views be known to their colleagues and fellow academics throughout the world for as wide-ranging and as long a term as possible. We have no doubt that through the digital archival of these works, these fundamental ideas are in no way damaged, and in fact, can be realized even more effectively. However, considering the issue from another point of view, in addition to the fact that the goals of this project fall under under the rubric of “reproduction” and “public distribution” outlined in international copyright law, it should go without saying that for articles published prior to issue one hundred, the authors themselves have the right to make the final judgement on whether or not to allow their works to be digitized, as it was not necessary for journals like JIBS to get permission for such use when those works were first submitted. Therefore, we respect the right of authors and copyright holders of such works to withhold permission to use their work without question. As a result of this line of thinking, the JAIBS felt obligated to verify from every author the right to make their work publicly available, and performed due diligence to obtain this permission by undertaking a project to contact every copyright holder individually.

However, it greatly concerned us as to what to do in the case of works by authors whose stance was uncertain—whether we would be justified (and whether it was in keeping with authors’ intentions) to exclude a priori such works in their entirety from the digital archive because of this uncertainty. Furthermore, the issue raised concerns of impartiality, and we had consider to what degree it was appropriate to deal with such individuals differently from those whom it was easier to get in contact with. We hope that all our authors and readers are aware of these issues, and understand that our current policy was established as a result of sincere deliberation on how best to handle them.



September 8, 2009,

The Board of Directors of the Japanese Association for Indian and Buddhist Studies