Open Access in Italy: A New Three-Year Transformative Agreement

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The newly announced agreement between IEEE and Italy’s Crui opens options to researchers at 54 universities and research hubs.

At Università di Pavia, the sculpture of physicist Alessandro Volta. The university is part of the Conferenza dei Rettori delle Università italiane’s network of campuses and research units. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Clodio

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Hawkins: ‘The Work of Leading Researchers’
Few fields love their acronyms more than academic publishing does, and today’s news arrives saying that the IEEE and CRUI have announced a new TA which will provide access to the IEL database and promote OA in Italy.

Translation: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has announced a transformative agreement with Conferenza dei Rettori delle Università Italiane (the Conference of Italian University Rectors, CRUI) for an open-access unlimited read-and-publish arrangement.

  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is a technical professional organization which deals in standards publications, and conferences on issues including aerospace systems, artificial intelligence, consumer electronics, telecommunications, and more. The association encompasses 39 technical societies in 10 geographic regions of the world.
  • The Conferenza dei Rettori is an association of public and private universities in Italy.
  • A transformative agreement is made between publishers and institutions such as libraries and universities to evolve how content is paid for, specifically transitioning from subscription-based business models to open access.

The agreement announced today is meant to make open-access publication available to researchers from 54 Italian institutions that are onboard with the program, and those researchers’ work becomes “instantly available and free-to-read”—with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)—for the public  have access to potential publication in approximately 200 journals and magazines published by the institute, both hybrid and fully open-access.

Part of effect is to make read-access rights available to peer-reviewed journal articles to what the institute’ media messaging says are “approximately 200,000 new conference papers added each year, as well as IEEE standards—totaling more than 5 million articles overall, including over 250,000 new articles added each year.

Resta: ‘An Extraordinary Opportunity’

In a prepared statement, Ferruccio Resta, the president of the Italian university rectors conference, says, “In recent years, the Conferenza dei Rettori delle Università Italiane has signed various agreements fostering open-access publication by affiliated members.

Ferrucio Resta

“Nevertheless, what makes the collaboration with IEEE significant is the possibility for authors to publish both in hybrid andgold’ [open-access] journals at no additional cost and in an unlimited number.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for the 54 Italian universities and research institutions reached by this contract, which also grants access to the IEL database,” which is a part of the institute’s offering.

“In recent years, IEEE journals have been particularly appreciated by local scholars, with more than 1,300 articles published in 2021 by participating institutions. Expectations are high, and the CRUI is extremely happy to announce this cooperation that contributes to boost the competitiveness of the Italian educational and research system.”

Karen Hawkins

And Karen Hawkins, CMO for the electrical and electronics engineers’ institute, says, the agreement “will provide Italian scholars with a wide array of open-access publishing options across our highly cited portfolio of journals.

“This agreement reinforces IEEE’s commitment to expanding our open-science offerings and allows IEEE to share the work of leading researchers with more of the [international] research community to further scientific and engineering progress.”

The Italian association of university and private research operations was formed in 1963. Here’s an introductory video about it.


More on more on open access is here, more on transformational agreements is here, and more on scholarly and academic publishing is here

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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