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INAF Technical Reports: Grey Literature in OA@INAF, the Open Access Repository of the National Institute for Astrophysics

A specific collection in the institutional repository to give greater dissemination and value to important scientific documents that usually circulate only through private channels.

Published onApr 27, 2022
INAF Technical Reports: Grey Literature in OA@INAF, the Open Access Repository of the National Institute for Astrophysics
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Abstract

INAF Technical reports are documents concerning methodologies, projects, instrumental applications and innovation, data harvesting techniques, handbooks and software produced in the various disciplinary fields.

This type of product, that doesn’t follow a standard publishing process, has been enhanced in OA@INAF, the institutional repository of National Institute for Astrophysics, established in January 2019, following the approval, in December 2018, by the Board of Directors, of the INAF Open Access Policy, an open access protocol on the results of scientific research.

Starting from January 2019 the National Institute for Astrophysics’ scientists must follow the INAF Open Access Policy1, an open access protocol on the results of scientific research, approved by the Board of Directors in December 2018.

The Policy was adopted according to the various national and European resolutions regarding the open access to the results of publicly funded scientific research, such as the 2012 European Commission Recommendation on scientific information access and its conservation2, the Horizon 20203 financial program, and the Position statement on the open access to the results of scientific research in Italy, signed by INAF in 2013 together with Italian Universities and Research Institutes.

INAF follows the Green Road to Open Access with the realization of the institutional repository OA@INAF4.

The archive contains different types of products. In addition to the more diffuse and common journal articles, conference proceedings and book parts, we decided to give particular importance to the products that don’t follow the usual publishing process, which are part of the so-called grey literature.

Grey literature has always played an important role, especially in science, because it allowed a fast circulation of documents and information, without waiting for the long publication times but, on the other hand, it has always been penalized by the difficulties of access and dissemination.

Therefore, the choice to give particular importance to grey literature in the institutional repository, is due to the need to give greater diffusion to documents that normally circulate through private channels and is in accordance with the article 29 of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement in Horizon 2020 program5:

Other types of publications, such as non-peer-reviewed articles as well as non-peer-reviewed monographs, books, conference proceedings and ‘grey literature’ (i.e. informally published material not having gone through a standard publishing process, e.g. reports), are not covered by the open access obligation...However, to ensure fuller and wider access, beneficiaries are encouraged to provide open access also to these other types of scientific publications (where possible)”.

In the institutional repository, the grey literature is mainly represented by Project reports, Working papers, and Technical reports.

Project reports are documents concerning technological or space projects in collaboration with other institutions, such as ASI (Italian Space Agency), ESO (European Southern Observatory), etc.

Working papers are preliminary documents relating to work that has not yet been completed, open to the comments of other researchers.

Technical reports are documents concerning methodologies, projects, instrumental applications and innovation, data harvesting techniques, handbooks and software produced in the various disciplinary fields.

Before January 2019, all the INAF observatories and institutes had their own series of technical reports, with its own name and numbering. All these series have been included in the collection Previous technical reports.

Following the establishment of the repository, all previous series have been deprecated and the new technical reports must be submitted in the new series INAF Technical reports established with art. 7 of the Policy, conceived in order to valorize them.

The archiving procedure requires that repository administrators check metadata and attached files of all the products submitted, before giving permission to archive. After the approval, each product gets a handle.

The procedure for archiving technical reports, also, involves a light review: each report is proposed to two INAF internal referees. After the approval of the referees, repository administrators check metadata and attached files and give permission to archive. When the report is archived, it gets a number, a handle and a DOI.

About two years after the opening of the institutional repository, we have noticed an increase in the production of the INAF Technical reports, the number of views and downloads shows us the great interest in these documents and gives value to our choice.


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