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DigiCULT
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submission of digital objects by research-
ers. Often, promotion has been weak or
completely absent. In the cases where there
has been an organisation for stimulating
and promoting the submission of content,
poor attention to legal issues such as IPR
(Intellectual Property Rights), plagiarism
and privacy was an obstacle or a deterrent
to researchers wanting to share their con-
tent in open access.
T
he most successful e-print reposi-
tory is one that has been related to
the Anagrafe della Ricerca (University
Research Registry) and to local evalua-
tion of research criteria: if you want to be
evaluated, you have to submit your articles
to the institutional repository. The lesson
to be learnt is that open access is a cul-
tural change that involves the University
in its entirety. This means starting at the
level of single researchers and libraries, but,
to be successful, it has to reach the politi-
cal and administrative organisation of the
University at the top.
A
t the moment, the top level of Italian
universities has not been involved in
open access. This may be the reason why
the most important characteristics of the
open access model to pay to publish, not
to pay to access is not generally under-
stood to be a revolutionary new publishing
method and, also in the case where librar-
ies were leading the way, it is not seen as a
solution to the serial price crisis, in com-
petition with traditional print or digit-
al academic publishing. This means that
researchers using institutional repositories
for submitting pre-prints then publish arti-
cles in traditional print journals.
T
he open access model has not had
any significant impact on the research
evaluation process and the assurance of
quality of articles and digital objects. Few
institutional repositories in Italy have
organised a validation or peer review proc-
ess. Career advancement and recruitment
of young researchers are still based on print
(and only print) publications and in par-
ticular are still based principally on impact
factors. It is hoped that the value of these
important publishing alternatives will soon
be understood, but at the moment uni-
versities, government and key experts in
all subjects are very conservative in their
judgement of an e-article's publication
value.
Conclusion
In conclusion, open access is seen in Italy
as a solution to broader access. For most of
the developers of institutional repositories
it is more a matter of faith, without a seri-
ous budget plan supporting the project and
without any connection to solve periodical
price crisis issues. Also, if the open access
model is seen as solving academia impact
problems, its potential for society more
generally is unknown. Researchers still
continue to privilege peer-to-peer commu-
nication, often using a technical language
that is incomprehensible outside the disci-
pline. To promote the diffusion of scientific
knowledge by stimulating open access the
Government could stimulate better com-
munications between society and academia.
However, so far this has not emerged as a
pressing issue. Is open access a sector or
mass phenomenon? It can be said that
open access will be successful when it
has become a mass phenomenon. In Italy,
however, this will need time to happen.
LITHUANIA
Digitisation courses: Lithuania,
March-April 2004
Three-day intensive digitisation courses
for the professional community of librar-
ians, archivists and museum specialists took
place in Vilnius on 30 March 1 April and
attracted 34 professionals from different
parts of Lithuania. The event was organ-
ised by the Integrated Training Center for LIS
Specialists in Lithuania (http://www.kf.vu.
lt/~btmc/) and funded by Training Centers
Initiative of the Open Society Fund.
Integrated Training Center for LIS Specialists
in Lithuania was founded in 1999 and con-
sists of several partners: Vilnius University
Faculty of Communication (http://www.
kf.vu.lt); Martynas Mazvydas National
Library of Lithuania (http://www.lnb.lt);
A. Mickevicius Public Library of Vilnius
County (http://www.amb.lt); Klaipeda
University Library (http://www.ku.lt/libr/)
and Microlink Networks (http://www.
microlink.lt). The training centre offers
a wide range of courses for library and
information specialists that cover a vari-
ety of knowledge and skills from informa-
tion technology to library management
and information policy. VU Faculty of
Communication, the main organiser of
digitisation courses, expresses an integrat-
ed approach to the museum, library and
archive professions and for this reason pro-
moted participation of all specialists from
Lithuanian memory institutions already
involved in or just starting digitisation ini-
tiatives.
A
n experienced lecturer and digitisa-
tion specialist, Adolf Knoll from the
Czech National Library in Prague, pro-
vided an extensive survey of diverse digi-
tisation topics. He is the deputy director
of National Library for strategic planning,
research and technological development.
His rich experience in digitisation includes
launching and running diverse digitisa-
tion initiatives in the National Library of
the Czech Republic, co-ordinating national
digitisation programmes on digital access to
rare library materials and the digital library,