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The Messina Declaration 2.0: the Italian road to Open Access

messina neptunoNovember 4 marked the tenth anniversary of the Messina Declaration on Open Access. This Declaration was signed by 31st Italian University back in 2004 in support of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.
The University of Messina  decided to celebrate this event with a two-day Conference to debate the OA trends and issues which emerged in the last decade. The conference, organized with the support of the Conference of  the Rectors of the Italian Universities and Italian Librarian (CRUI) Association (AIB) was attened by over 80 delegates from over 30 universities.


messina2014conferenceThe first day was  structured in plenary and break-out sessions  and was devoted to technical issues related to interoperability, implementation of  OA policy mandates in Italian Universities (best practices and advices were provided by early adopters), open research data management. The day ended with a round table with Internationational publishers to discuss how their OA policy can really meet the needs of  a green road approach to OA.
Most of the debate during the day was around the importance of interoperability, the challenges of research data management, the need for more cooperation among different offices within the university (research office, IT, library, researchers community),  and more advocacy and awareness at all levels (researchers, university management, funders).
The second day was attended also by rectors and vice-rectors of some universities. Horizon 2020 and  OpenAIRE were both presented   respectively by Celina Ramajoue and the local OpenAIRE NOAD (Paola Gargiulo) in the first session, which set the context of the issues covered during the day (authors rights and OA, OA mandates, the fair and sustanaible model of the Gold OA strategy). The OA mandates session was introduced by a brilliant key note speech by Bernard Rentier, former Rector of the University of Liege and followed by a roundtable with the delegates from the first six  Italian universities which implemented an OA mandate. A second session was devoted in the afternoon to needs and the challenges of Open Science (Paolo Manghi), and  the Gold Road strategy. The issues were presented by representative from OpenEdition (Pierre Mounier), from PLOS (Nylon Cameron), from SCOAP3 (Stefano Bianco) and from an Italian overlay journal in the area of political science (Maria Chiara Pievatolo).

messina openaccess conf

A special momento of the day was the signature of the Open Access RoadMap 2014-2018 signed by delegates of 26 universities, plus 11 proxy signature (For more, please click here).
By signing this document the universities and research centres commit themselves to work together in three areas:
  • Strengthening  actions, cooperation and a shared vision OA among universities and research centres by also appointin institutional OA reference points.
  • Adopting OA mandates (green road) and supporting a fully integration of CRIS with OA repositories as a strategic action to the dissemination and enhancement of Italian research output.
  • Building a shared  vision to implement a national policy on OA research data and their reuse according to the international standards and guidelines.
The presentations and the video recordings are available on the website. The presentations by foreign guests are in English.

Photos by University of Messina and by https://www.flickr.com/photos/eg65/Elena Giglia