You are here

Home»English Article

E2548e – Expansion of the Scope of Online Publications Collecting by the National Diet Library

The original article published in Japanese ( )

Current Awareness-E No.445

13 October, 2022

Expansion of the Scope of Online Publications Collecting
by the National Diet Library


On June 1, 2022, a partial amendment to the National Diet Library Law was promulgated. Beginning January 1, 2023, the scope of online publications to be collected by the National Diet Library (NDL) based on the online publications collecting system (Article 25-4 of the National Diet Library Law) is to be expanded.

●Background of Online Publications Collecting

Online publications to be collected by the NDL are E-books and E-journals (electronic information published or released on the Internet) with a specific code (ISBN, ISSN, DOI) and those in a specific format (PDF, EPUB, DAISY).

Since July 1, 2013, the NDL has been collecting and preserving privately-issued online publications that are free of charge and without technical restriction measures (DRM), under the online publications collecting system (see E1464). Subsequently, Legal Deposit System Council, an advisory body to the Director General, has discussed ways of collecting online publications and providing compensations in order to expand the scope of the collection. During this period, the NDL has made efforts to gain understanding of publishers and other parties involved. From December 2015 to January 2020, E-book and E-magazine Collection Demonstration Project was conducted to technically examine collection and long-term storage/use as well as to assess the impact on e-publishing businesses. In July 2018, the NDL hosted an international symposium commemorating the 70th anniversary of the legal deposit system in Japan (see E2055) to examine the role of national libraries for collecting and preserving publications.

On March 25, 2021, the Legal Deposit System Council submitted a report on systematic collecting of privately-issued online publications for a charge or DRM. These had not been collected thus far in accordance with the supplementary provisions of the National Diet Library Law. Based on this report, a bill to partially amend the National Diet Library Law was submitted to the 208th session of the Diet in May 2022 and was passed after deliberations.

Under the online publications collecting system, compensation is not required for the costs related to transmission. This is because costs involved in transmission to the NDL are minor, including reproduction of files and addition of minimum metadata. Compensation is provided only for the cost of purchasing DVD media and postage that may incur when the publishers send the files on recording media.

●Collecting Online Publications

With the amendment to the law, private online publications for a charge or with DRM published on or after January 1, 2023 is to be collected. Files are collected without DRM, with metadata attached.

If the publisher and the distributor (for example, E-bookstore) are different, in principle, the publisher is obligated to provide the publications. The following publications are exempt from the obligation: confidential matters, simple publications such as application forms, publications that differ neither in volume nor substance from online publications collected previously, publications for which the Director General confirmed upon request that they are the same edition of a book or a serial already deposited, and publications that can be used for a long period of time and will not be erased without particular reasons such as institutional repository publications.

If the same content is provided in multiple formats, PDF is prioritized. If both reflow type and fixed type are available for EPUB, reflow type is prioritized.

As in the past, there will be three methods of collecting online publications: automatic crawling, transmission through the NDL website, and sending the publications stored in recording media.

●Use of Online Publications

Collected online publications will be provided in the National Diet Library Digital Collections. In principle, publications are available only within the NDL and are not to be sent to libraries (see E1540) or to individuals (see E2529). As with paper and other tangible materials, the number of persons who can view an online publication for a charge or with DRM at the same time is limited to one. Metadata of collected publications include a link to the site where those publications are available.

Photocopy service of online publications in PDF format, including those already collected, is scheduled to begin in mid-January 2023 within the limit of the Copyright Act and other applicable laws.

●Request for cooperation

As of September 30, 2022, approximately 109,000 materials have been collected through the online publications collecting system. In addition to expanding the scope of the collection, the NDL will continue to make efforts to ensure that the system is widely known and to enhance its effectiveness. We ask all publishers for their cooperation on collecting online publications. On October 26, we plan to hold a briefing session on the outline of the collecting system and collecting methods for those engaged in publication of online materials.

Acquisitions and Bibliography Department
Acquisitions Administration and Bibliographic Control Division
Legal Deposit System Section

Translated by Okada Aya

*Notes are not translated and remain in Japanese language.


“議案情報”. 参議院. 2022-06-01.
“納本制度審議会”. NDL.
納本制度審議会. オンライン資料の制度収集を行うに当たって補償すべき費用の内容について. 2021, 28p.
“オンライン資料収集制度(eデポ)”. NDL.
関西館電子図書館課. オンライン資料収集制度(愛称:eデポ)の開始. カレントアウェアネス-E. 2013, (242), E1464.
佐藤菜緒惠. 納本制度70周年記念国際シンポジウム<報告>. カレントアウェアネス-E. 2018, (353), E2055.
小坂昌. 図書館向けデジタル化資料送信サービス開始から1か月. カレントアウェアネス-E. 2014, (255), E1540.
木村祐佳. 個人向けデジタル化資料送信サービスの開始. カレントアウェアネス-E. 2022, (441), E2529.