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Publishing in English: About

An upcoming guide to English-language publication for Japanese scholars


What this website can do for you:

This bilingual website is designed to give basic guidance to Japanese scholars, who are trying to publish journal articles and scholarly monographs with English-language publishers outside of Japan.  At the suggestion of Western By clicking the links below, you will access information that may help you better:

  • understand the process of submitting a journal article to a refereed scholarly journal (print or online)
  • research the fit of your work with the journal's audience
  • write an abstract of your work
  • create an outline for developing a proposal publication of a manuscript

The Website contains:

  • recommendations about revising your work for an English-language Western audience
  • advice about seeking a translator or editorial consultant
  • editable templates for query letters to publishers

We have included links to Japanese and American websites that provide guidelines to American copyright practices governing the use of Japanese images in a range of circumstances, from publications to presentations. Sometimes figuring out exactly which person or organization holds the rights to an image is tricky. We have provided suggestions for determining who might be the likely rights holder in a range of image types and uses. We also offer templates of request letters and permission applications modeled after those used by a number of Japanese institutions. They are bilingual (Japanese and English) in order to meet the needs of North American publishers and Japanese right holders. You may freely adapt these to your own needs when requesting permission for image use. We also offer a few suggestions about how you might speed the movement of your permission request through a Japanese organization.

What this website cannot do:

Please remember that this site is not a source of legal advice. We have done our best to learn from the practices of North American academic publishers and Japanese rights holders of materials interesting to many Japan specialists. However, we cannot promise that all rights holders will respond to the approaches we suggest. Nor can we guarantee all publishers or educational institutions where you would like to use images will be satisfied by the sorts of permission documents we have suggested here. You should always consult with your publisher or with the appropriate officials at your institution for advice on when and what sorts of permissions are necessary, and you should not forget that the decision to grant use permission always rests in the hands of the rights holder.



  • Difference in publishing climates between Japan and North America
  • Understanding how the author-publisher relationship may differ from that in Japan
  • Advice on writing an abstract of your proposed publication
  • Advice on publishing in the electronic environment -- Open Access and Creative Commons Licenses, and how to judge the quality and reputation of online publications. 

Key Venues for Publication

1. English-Language Professional Journals (print and electronic):

  • List of major refereed journals in key fields
  • How to research a journal's editorial board
  • Guide to approaching the editor of such a journal
  • Understanding the schedule and lead time
  • Outline of the usual editorial process -- submission, review, analyzing readers’ comments, making revisions, and publication.

2.    Contributing an article to an edited volume:

  • What is expected of individual contributors
  • Who is responsible for editing, revisions, schedule
  • What are contributors’ roles
  • Is it usual for contributors to get royalties, receive a free copy, be able to get off prints, assign their chapter for teaching, etc.

3.    Publishing a monograph with an English-language publisher:

  • How to research academic presses and understanding their subject strengths
  • Creating a book prospectus for a publisher (downloadable template)
  • How to contact the publisher (downloadable letter template)
  • Is there an expected timeline for a publisher to respond?  What do you do if you don't hear, should you contact them again, if so, what do you say?
  • Whether to send to multiple publishers simultaneously, and if so, what to tell each of them
  • What to expect from your Western publisher.

Downloadable Templates

  • Submitting manuscripts
  • Letters for contacting editors
  • Letters for contacting publishers
  • Publication abstract template
  • Writing a prospectus for your publication (overview, TOC, scholarly competition, audience analysis, potential course adoptions, timeline)

Frequently Asked Questions

Project Leaders, Advisory Committee, and Staff List

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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