How important it is to start online scientific journals
In the current scenery of scientific communication, we may observe a strong interest, during the last years, from Universities and scientific institutions (reinforced by the CRUI in our country) towards the development and exploitation of innovative channels for online scholarly publishing. This process of innovation, aiming at lower publishing costs, is inspired to Open Access principles regarding the products of scientific research, through the use of appropriate devices to make research outputs freely available to the global academic community. These innovative publishing channels are intended to improve and maximize the impact of research products, to increase the University's prestige and to allow it to be competitive with other research institutions.
As online journals are indexed by search engines, they gain wider recognition on the Web. For this reason, today the creation of online academic journals at low costs is regarded as one of the most effective strategies for a wider dissemination of academic research, with the advantages of overall cost reduction and maximization of the impact.
The University of Palermo, by signing in 2004 the Dichiarazione di Messina (which endorses the Berlin Declaration, 2003), has engaged in supporting new opportunities for the dissemination of scientific knowledge through the Internet.
A first concrete step forward was taken in 2009, when our University started RCR, the institutional repository for its scientific production (currently: IRIS, Institutional Research Information System).
The publication in 2009 by the Gruppo Open Access della Commissione Biblioteche della CRUI of the document Riviste ad accesso aperto: linee guida, inspired to similar international initiatives (such as the Guide to businness planning for launching a new open access journal edited by the Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2003) encourages the Italian universities to follow the mainstream of creating low cost, freely accessible online journals as an alternative publishing model than the electronic journals published by international companies.
Our University, by supporting the training course “Creare e gestire una rivista online” in 2010, has taken its first steps in this direction.