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.”

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.”

Open access dell’Università statale di Milano | Scienza in rete

The article presents the OA journal publishing platform owned and maintained by the University of Milan. All journals are no-fee OA journals and the majority of them deal with humanities.

In the extensive introduction, the key concepts related to OA (including Plan S, transformative agreements, self-archiving, etc.) are discussed.

La proposta di legge Gallo sull’accesso aperto all’informazione scientifica (DDL n. 1146) | AISA

From Google’s English: “The examination continues, before the 7th Standing Committee (Public education, cultural heritage) of the Senate, of the DDL n. 1146 , “Amendments to article 4 of the decree-law 8 August 2013, n. 91, converted, with modifications, by the law 7 October 2013, n. 112, as well as the introduction of article 42-bis of the law of 22 April 1941, n. 633, in the matter of open access to scientific information ”

On October 29, 2019, the 7th Commission held an informal hearing to hear the position of the Italian Publishers Association (IEA).

A note from the IEA is available on the Senate website summarizing the contents of the hearing….”

 

AISA | Associazione italiana per la promozione della scienza aperta

AISA is a non-profit organization that undertakes to advance open access to knowledge.

The mission of AISA is to:

  1. disseminate a culture of Open Science;
  2. publish studies on the implementation of Open Science principles
  3. provide staff training programs to promote Open Science practices in research performing organizations (universities and research centres) which have embraced the OA principles;
  4. engage international cooperation through networking with legal entities involved in the promotion of Open Science;
  5. promote participation in international research projects and grant applications linked to the association’s mission;
  6. raise awareness among decision makers, and in particular Italian and European legislators, to further the promotion of Open Science in research assessment and intellectual property policies….”