Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law. Trento Law and Technology Research Group, University of Trento
On 7 October 2013, the Italian Parliament approved the Law 112/2013 concerning the valorization of culture. Through Section 4 of this Law, the Italian Parliament aims to align its national law with the European Open Access policies emerging in the EU FP7 and in the EU Horizon 2020, as well as those expressed in the EU Commission’s Recommendation of 17 July 2012 on access to and preservation of scientific information and Commission’s Communication “Towards better access to scientific information: Towards better access to scientific information:Boosting the benefits of public investments in research”.
In the Italian context, the principles of open access (hereafter OA) have so far been based on voluntary initiatives. Over the past few years many universities and research institutions have placed repositories which are based on different approaches: in some cases they collect and make available the entire scientific production. In others, the articles are archived but not made publicly accessible. Some Italian research institutions and universities have adopted OA policies (e.g. Telethon, Cariplo and University of Trieste) that strongly support OA and particularly the ‘Green Road’.
The OA aims can be achieved following two main routes: through the creation of new OA business models for scientific publishing, known as the ‘Gold Road’, and through the establishment of repositories where all scientific and scholarly publications are to remain freely accessible, known as the ‘Green Road’. Authors that opt for Gold OA choose to publish their articles in OA journals that provide free immediate OA to all articles on the publisher’s website. Authors choosing the ‘Green Road’ publish in subscription journals and, upon acceptance for publication, they make their peer-reviewed final draft freely accessible online by self-archiving or depositing the article in an institutional or disciplinary repository.
Considering in detail the contents of the new law, some obligations are imposed on the State research funding and managing bodies, such as research institutions and universities:
1. The mentioned subjects shall take the necessary measures for the implementation of OA to “articles” published in periodical collections (at least biannual), which are outcomes of publicly funded research
2. OA publication shall regard publicly financed works as works that are at least 50% financed by the public. The Italian legislator has incorporated both the OA models: gold and green road. The law requires research institutions to adopt policies that promote open access that can be pursued both following the golden road and the green road.
3. Following the green road, the work must to be stored in OA archives, no later than 18 months from the first publication for scientific, technical and medical disciplines, and 24 months for the humanities and social sciences.