In Italy research is performed mainly by higher education institutions (mainly public and few private universities, polytechnics, research centres) and other types of public institutions. Business enterprises and private not for profit organizations also carry out research in different fields. The public funding comes mainly from the central government and on a smaller scale from regional governments. A relevant role is also played by EU framework programme funding. Private organizations also fund research in different fields. Between 2008 and 2018 the percentage of Open Access (OA) publications was roughly estimated to be about 40% over the total number of publications published by Italian institutions (source: Open Science Monitor, European commission).
The main public funder in Italy is the Ministero dell’Università e Ricerca (MUR, Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, former MIUR - Ministry of Education, University and Research), but other ministries (e.g Ministry for the Economic Development, Health, Foreign Affairs, etc) other central administration agencies and regional governments also play a role in funding research in specific areas (high-tech; nanotechnologies; environmental sciences and health, space research; etc.) and fostering synergies among universities, research organizations and small-medium sized enterprises (as part of the EC Field Programs).
Public research funding can be further split into three categories:
In 2018 the total investment in Research & Development accounted for 1,39% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), but the data is still a forecast while writing (early 2020). In 2017, 482.703 people were involved in research and development both in the public and private sectors.
In early 2020, 141 RPOs have an institutional repository (source: OpenDOAR). The majority of Italian universities has adopted IRIS (Institutional Research Information System) the CRIS developed CINECA fully integrated with D-Space and OpenAIRE and Cerif compliant. The integration of the IR with the CRIS together with the adoption of OA institutional policies is boosting the implementation and the population of OA repositories in Italy.
In 2019 a group of Italian RPOs created the Italian Computing and Data Infrastructure (ICDI) a forum created by representatives of major Italian Research Infrastructures and e-Infrastructures, with the aim of promoting synergies at the national level, and optimising the Italian participation to European and global challenges in this field, including the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), the European Data Infrastructure (EDI) and HPC.
ICDI provides the national research community with opportunities to discuss and negotiate common strategies for the participation in the Digital Single Market and the EOSC, in order to optimise and coordinate the Italian contribution to these initiatives. In order to understand the state of the art in this field, we mapped the Italian participation in pan-European Research Infrastructure and e- Infrastructure programmes. This assessment is intended as a first step to understand the feasibility and the extent of the coordination and, possibly, the federation of common resources. The Italian Ministry of Research and Education follows this initiative as an observer.
In 2016 AISA (Associazione Italiana per la promozione della Scienza Aperta – Italian Association for the promotion of Open Science) a non-profit organization for the advancement of open access to knowledge in Italy made a proposal to change the Italian copyright law " Proposta di modifica della legge sul diritto d'autore" in line with the changes made in Germany and more recently in France. The text of the proposal is available on AISA website and circulated among research communities and will be brought to the attention of the authorities in the current year hopefully.
In 2006 the Conference of Italian Universities Rectors (CRUI) established a Working Group on OA as part of the CRUI Library Committee. Since its founding the CRUI OA Working Group (OAWG) has performed several activities to support the implementation of OA in Italian universities. Most of the activities concentrated on the drafting and publication of Guidelines and Recommendations successively adopted by several universities. In 2007, CRUI OAWG published the Guidelines on depositing Doctoral Dissertations in open access repositories. (As of 2017 doctoral theses mandate has been implemented in 38 universities).
Later, CRUI OAWG released the following guidelines: Recommendations on OA and Research Evaluation in 2009; Guidelines for OA Journals in 2009; and Guidelines for Institutional Repositories in 2009, Guidelines on the creation and management of OA metadata in 2012. OAWG released Guidelines on drafting institutional policies and mandates for publications and data sets in June 2013.
In October 2013 a new law was approved by the Parliament on cultural assets. The Decree -Law “Urgent provisions for the protection, enhancement and promotion of cultural assets, activities and tourism (13G00135) (G.U No. 186 of 09.08.2013) released on August 9 2013 and converted in law on October 7 2013 (L. 112 /2013) states that results of research, funded at least 50 % with public funds and published in scholarly journals (whose frequency is at least biannual) should be open access.
According to this law, all public research funders and administrators of public research funds are required to take provisions to implement and promote OA according to the principles stated in the law.
The law is currently under rediscussion at the parliament, thanks to a new proposal made by Deputy Andrea Gallo, president of the Chamber of Deputies Commission of Culture. The Chamber of Deputies approved the new law text in march 2019, including the change in the Italian copyright law that allows authors to keep the rights enabling open access for scientific publications. The new text also provides 1 million euros to fund an infrastructure for open access in the country and 200.000 euros each year for its operation. The law is currently under discussion at the Commission of Culture of the Senate.
Right after participating to the launch of EOSC in late 2018, the Italian ministry of research and university delegate formed a Commission of Experts, also including OpenAIRE Italian NOAD, to draft a National Roadmap for Open Science in 2019. The Roadmap was drafted in may 2019, but it is still to be officially launched by the Ministry of University and Research. A Working Group on Open Access was nominated by the Ministry of University and Research in 2019.
Since September 2019 the Ministry of Health is asking to publish the underlying data of publications produced with its fundings, in accordance with the Lancet Reward (REduce research Waste And Reward Diligence) Campaign.
This initiative states: "We maximise our research potential when: [...] all information on research methods and findings are accessible". Besides, along with others, the following priority is set: "Make publicly available the full protocols, analysis plans or sequence of analytical choices, and raw data for all designed and undertaken biomedical research".
In January 2014 the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research mandated OA for publications and datasets arising from the funding programme for young scientists (Bando SIR Scientific Independence for young scientists programme D. D. 23/01/14 n. 17). According to the mandate, data and peer-reviewed articles must be deposited no later than the time of publication, and must be available in OA no later than six months from the date of publication in scientific, technical and medical fields and no later than 12 months from the date of publication in the social sciences and humanities.
In 2015 and 2017 the research funding programme Bandi PRIN financed by MIUR mandates open access to publications resulting from the funding programme in line with the law (L. 112 /2013). MIUR signed in 2019 an agreement with OpenAIRE to monitor the compliance with its mandates on Open Access.
In line with the EU recommendations to State members on access to and preservation of scientific information, with the new Italian Law on OA (L. 112 /2013) and with the OA-CRUI guidelines on OA policy, at the end of March 2020 41 universities out of 99 adopted OA mandates (they were 27 as of September 2018).
The Universities of Milano la Statale, Padova and Bologna have adopted in 2018 an institutional policy on Open Access to research data and data management.
The main national funded research institutions (CNR, ISS, INGV, ENEA, INFN) together with CRUI support OA in principle and committed themselves to take action in the near future by signing the Position Statement on the Open Access to Research Results in March 2013. In particular, INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare/National Institute for Nuclear Physics) participates in the SCOAP3 initiative, has an OA policy which is supported by an Italian version of Zenodo.org, Open Access Repository, and has signed Plan-S.
ISS, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (the main research institution on health science funded by the Public Health Ministry), the INGV (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology), and ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) have created institutional open access repositories. ISS, INGV and INFN have also adopted an OA policy.
In early 2020, 141 repositories are listed in OpenDOAR
Currently, 37 data repositories are listed in Re3Data filtering by country “Italy”. 19 are based in Italy, the remaining ones are run in collaboration with foreign organizations. Since 2018, three universities have adopted a dataverse based data repository.
398 Open Access Journals with Italy based publishers are listed in DOAJ.
INFN is one of the signatories of the SCOAP3 initiative.In June 2020, CNR announced the first Read&Publish agreements with the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
12 Italian Publishers are listed in the DOAB, with a total of 548 books.
The Italian National Open Access Desk, coordinated by CNR and runned together with the Univerisity of Torino, provides support for Open Science and related funder policies.
A list of different training programme are available runned by NOAD team, including face to face courses and remote webinars. Italian NOAD also creates ad hoc programmes for different stakeholders, from PhD student to institutions and funders.
Since 2018 the Italian NOAD organises yearly series of webinars that usually gather together hundreds of participants. The series hadhas a common format and each webinar is dedicated to specific stakeholders in the field of Open Science: researchers, librarians, research support personnel, funders. The main aim is to provide clear information and practical tools to the users and introduce them to Open Science related topics.
Each series has a specific theme and it is designed for a specific user category, yet it is open to all the interested actors. Series consist of one or more one hour-chapters.
Open Science Webinar Series 2020
One webinar was run in early 2020 to train researchers on the open science basis in view of the next research evaluation campaign to happen in 2020. The success of the webinar led to a second chapter and the two trained in total 400 users.
These Webinars were offered in collaboration with the OpenAIRE NOADs, and the RDA Italian Node.