Springer Nature continues to drive open access transition in Europe | Corporate Affairs Homepage | Springer Nature

“Springer Nature has signed its first transformative agreement (TA)  with CRUI-CARE (Conferenza dei Rettori delle Universita Italiane), the association of Italian state and non-state universities which acts on behalf of over 90  Italian academic and research institutions. This agreement is the first TA for Springer Nature in Southern Europe, and adds to its already 11 national agreements, supporting an ever growing number of European countries on their path to a fully OA environment….”

PLAN S and other progress for Open Access to knowledge

Abstract:  The principle of Open Access (OA) is about the breaking of any paywall to the knowledge coming from research funded by public monies. After twenty years of statements not much has changed and the market of scientific journals is still in the hands of oligopolistic companies. Plan S is a disruptive initiative created by research funders in Europe and US which aims to foster the transition to Open Access by acting against hybrid journals and citation index. The Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) has signed Plan S and, in close relationship with the Universities, the Conference of Rectors (CRUI), and the National Research Council (CNR), is outreaching the academic communities to discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  In this work both a description of Plan S and a brief status report of other initiatives are given.


Vigilance for Medical Products of Human Origin—Progress on t… : Transplantation

Abstract:  World Health Assembly Resolution WHA 63.22 mandated WHO to facilitate Member State access to appropriate information on Medical Products of Human Origin (MPHO), including collecting data on serious adverse events and reactions. To meet this challenge, the Italian National Transplant Center, with a mandate from WHO, has built and maintains an open access searchable database of instructive records on disease transmission and other MPHO adverse occurrences.


An intersectional approach to analyse gender productivity and open access: a bibliometric analysis of the Italian National Research Council | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Gender equality and Open Access (OA) are priorities within the European Research Area and cross-cutting issues in European research program H2020. Gender and openness are also key elements of responsible research and innovation. However, despite the common underlying targets of fostering an inclusive, transparent and sustainable research environment, both issues are analysed as independent topics. This paper represents a first exploration of the inter-linkages between gender and OA analysing the scientific production of researchers of the Italian National Research Council under a gender perspective integrated with the different OA publications modes. A bibliometric analysis was carried out for articles published in the period 2016–2018 and retrieved from the Web of Science. Results are presented constantly analysing CNR scientific production in relation to gender, disciplinary fields and OA publication modes. These variables are also used when analysing articles that receive financial support. Our results indicate that gender disparities in scientific production still persist particularly in STEM disciplines, while the gender gap is the closest to parity in medical and agricultural sciences. A positive dynamic toward OA publishing and women’s scientific production is shown when disciplines with well-established open practices are related to articles supported by funds. A slightly higher women’s propensity toward OA is shown when considering Gold OA, or authorships with women in the first and last article by-line position. The prevalence of Italian funded articles with women’s contributions published in Gold OA journals seems to confirm this tendency, especially if considering the weak enforcement of the Italian OA policies.


Academic libraries and coronavirus: a view from Italy

“A few publishers opened access to textbooks for students (but not so many indeed). Some Italian publishers and vendors followed the invitation that has come from many libraries and institutions to open up their collections, like that promoted by the Wellcome Trust. Many publishers responded positively and created free open access hubs to help researchers all over the world to find a cure for this terrible disease, and libraries highlighted them on their web pages. However, most publishers, either in Italy or internationally, just opened a selection of resources – and in some cases upon request – that they believe are useful to Covid-19 research, but they did not open all their publications to allow researchers to see and choose what can be really useful from the different scientific perspectives necessarily implied in this urgent aim. Definitely, what has emerged quite clearly from this pandemic emergency are the many obstacles and walls that prevent access to knowledge and science, as well as all the restrains current acquisitions methods for digital resources in libraries impose through clauses included in subscription licenses….

In the petition, libraries ask publishers to allow digital lending and direct document delivery with no restrains, and to allow opening of library collections temporarily to all users, including doctors and researchers not affiliated to academia who, according to license clauses, normally cannot access academic library resources. Moreover, The Library Commission of the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) signed the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) Covid-19 petition for access to electronic resources from publishers….

This pandemic outbreak has clearly shown how crucial open access and open science have become. Researchers all over the world need to access data and knowledge quickly, as soon as it is produced, freely and without any limitation, in order to be able to defeat coronavirus. For this reason, AISA, an Italian Association for the promotion of Open Science, wrote a public letter to the President of the Italian Republic to ask for a serious and urgent national policy for open science, starting from rethinking research assessment and copyright laws….”

AIB-WEB – Per l’immediato ripristino dell’accesso a Project Gutenberg

From Google’s English:  “The AIB Censorship Observatory considers it extremely serious and worrying that, by order of seizure of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome as part of an investigation into digital piracy, the Guardia di Finanza has blocked access from Italy to the Project Gutenberg ( https://www.gutenberg.org/ ), freely accessible and non-profit portal that since 1971 has collected reproductions of books in the public domain, not subject to copyright.

As everyone knows, Project Gutenberg promotes the widest dissemination and knowledge of the registered cultural memory. For years it has been hosted by large universities that made their servers available, before becoming an autonomous organization, one of the main of this type and inspiring model for many other similar ones (such as the Manutius Project in Italy), mainly supported by work. of many volunteers.

We reiterate that it is one of the most qualified projects on the net, with a large amount of documents accessible for free in compliance with the US Copyright Act, because it is in the USA that it is based: they are works in the public domain, out of rights because they have always been public domain (such as the Bible) or because the maximum terms of duration of copyright have passed….”

Italian Public Prosecutor Says Project Gutenberg’s Collection Of Public Domain Books Must Be Blocked For Copyright Infringement | Techdirt

“Back in 2013, we made clear our concerns with the Italian communications watchdog AGCOM setting up new administrative copyright enforcement powers that would allow them to simply up and declare sites to be infringing, at which point ISPs would be ordered to block websites. Soon after that Italy’s public prosecutor seemed to decided that part of his job was also to order websites blocked based solely on the public prosecutor’s say so.

In the latest such order from the Public Prosecutor’s office declaring a list of sites to be infringing, apparently Italy has decided that the famous and wonderful Project Gutenberg website, which is a repository of public domain books, must be blocked. I don’t know about the other 27 sites listed in the order, but Project Gutenberg is no piracy site. Yet here it is ….”

Project Gutenberg and the Crusader of Copyright – Andrea Monti

“A few days ago, on May 11, 2020, the Court of Rome issued a web access blocking order against gutenberg.org. This domain was “seized” as part of an investigation against copyright infringement and the illegal distribution of newspapers and magazines following the technical investigation of the Guardia di Finanza’s privacy and technological fraud Special Branch (Nucleo speciale tutela privacy e frodi tecnologiche)  

This would be nothing odd, except the fact that, in reality, gutemberg.org is a project for the digitization and free online publication of books in the public domain, i.e. on which there are no rights of economic exploitation (in practice, publishers are not entitled to profit from the work of authors). It is quite difficult to “make money” to the detriment of publishers if publishers have no rights on those books, but the investigators did not notice it, and the judge did not check….”

A Public Data Archive for the Italian Radio Telescopes – NASA/ADS

Abstract:  The amount of data delivered by modern instrumentation and observing techniques is bringing radio astronomy in the era of Big Data, and the nowadays widely adopted Open Data policies allow free and open access to data from many radio astronomy facilities. A fundamental ingredient to enable Open Science in the radio astronomical community and to engage also public participation (the so called Citizen Science) is thus the availability of public archives in which data can be accessed and searched with modern software tools. A web-based, VO-compliant public archive has been built to host data from the Italian radio telescopes managed by the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The archive main features consist in the capability to handle the various types of data coming from the different observing instrumentation at the telescopes; the adoption of a policy to guarantee the data proprietary period; the accessibility of data through a web interface and the adoption of VO standards to allow for successful scientific exploitation of the archive itself in the data mining era. We present the progress status of the public Data Archive for the Italian radio telescopes being developed to provide the international community with a state-of-the-art archive for radio astronomical data.


RRI for real – FIT4RRI final summit – Home

“The FIT4RRI consortium organises its summit “RRI for real” marking the end of our three-year project. FIT4RRI brought together experts from nine European countries, who analysed and tested how to foster the real uptake of Responsible Research & Innovation and Open Science. The summit starts a new collaborative phase of shaping the future of open science and society relations.”