Aim and goal of the policy

The goal is expressed by article 4 of the Politecnico di Milano Statute and is contained in the first lines of the policy that has just been approved: "The Politecnico di Milano" encourages full and open access to knowledge, promoting the free circulation and widespread diffusion of teaching, cultural and organisational content, even in digital format".

The Politecnico di Milano has also signed the 2004 Messina Declaration that acknowledges the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities from October 2003.

Is this the only existing policy?

No. Many universities in both the United States and in Europe (Harvard, MIT, CERN, NIH), adopt this type of policy.

For a list of existing policies, see:  http://roarmap.eprints.org

Many research funding agencies now require scientific articles coming from public funded research to be published in open access institutional archives in both Italy (e.g. Fondazione Cariplo) and in Europe (e.g. Horizon 2020).

Other research funding bodies have open access policies for results. Some of these policies are published in: 

            SHERPA's Juliet database of funder policies

            BioMed Central's table of funder policies

What does the policy do for scientific authors at the Politecnico di Milano?

The web allows professors and researchers to share their own scientific articles simply and freely. In addition, some research shows that articles made available freely online are the most cited and have a greater impact than the ones that aren't.

In fact, search engine indexing of articles filed in institutional repositories increases the visibility of articles, increasing citational indices- 

Recent studies show that searchability of articles on the web has a direct influence on the Impact Factor and the H-Index.

Many professors make their articles available on their own personal pages, but these may cause problems due to the limits of copyright agreements that may be signed with publishers. 

This policy allows their articles to be made available legally in open access, and allows the Politecnico di Milano to support these choices via a single institutional archive.

Open access to the university's scientific production, made available via the institutional archive, guarantees and increases external visibility of the Politecnico's scientific activity, and makes the value of said activities immediately clear and assessable both on a qualitative and quantitative level, increasing the institute's image and status.

What can be done to ensure that research work is as widely available as possible?

There are several possibilities for making research as widely available as possible:

  • Self-archiving the work in the Politecnico di Milano's research catalogue (U-GOV research catalogue) and providing consent to visibility. It will automatically be placed in the institutional repository Re.Public  (Re.Public@polimi) and will be visible to anyone who searches for it;
  • Self-archiving the work in one of the existing subject repositories, such as:
    • for computer science: Citeseer
    • for physics, maths and biology: ArXiv
    • for economics: RePec
  • Publishing in an open access journal. The  Directory of Open Access Journals Journals shows a list of quality-controlled scientific and academic journals that are freely accessible with full texts in a wide range of subjects.