About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Roars Transactions, a Journal on Research Policy and Evaluation (RT), is an electronic open-access,  peer-reviewed journal, published every six months. RT draws from the experience of www.roars.it (Return on Academic ReSearch), a collective blog (in Italian) dedicated to the monitoring and critical examination of  policy measures and trends in higher education and public research. RT aims at extending the blog’s scope and depth, by soliciting contributions worldwide and of a scholarly nature.

At the same time, RT wishes to maintain and enhance its characteristic of inter-disciplinarity, topical relevance, and openness. Contributions are solicited from all fields of natural, social, and human sciences in the following areas:

  • Research and teaching evaluation methodologies and practices
  • Use and extension of quantitative indicators for the study of research and higher education systems
  • Current policy issues concerning higher education institutions, including perspective evaluation of ongoing reforms and retrospective assessment of past ones
  • Case studies, including historical ones, on reforms or restructuring of specific research or higher education      institutions, or systems thereof
  • Theoretical and empirical studies on ethical issues in science, including data access and retention, selective      publication of results, fraud and plagiarism, and experimentations on humans and animals
  • Case studies and comparative analysis on legal      aspects, law-making and design of law regarding research evaluation and policy
  • Empirical studies, also in a historical perspective, on the influence of  science and technology on society, especially of science and technology policy and institutions.
  • Reflections from a philosophy and history of science point of view on the themes described above.

RT publishes original research papers, reviews and discussion notes. The preferred language is English, but contributions in other languages (Italian, French, German, Spanish) will be considered for publication - an extended summary in English will be included.

Members of the Board of Editors can suggest the publication of issues focused on specific topics and calls for papers. The Board of Editors (BoE) is composed by two sub-committees: the Editorial Committee, including the founders of the journal ,and the Editorial Board.

RT complies to the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.

Peer Review Process

With the only exception of Editor in Chief (EiC) editorials, every contribution submitted to RT is subject to peer review, and should be addressed directly to the EiC. The EiC can immediately reject a contribution as non-suitable when clearly not consistent with or not appropriate for the journal. Every suitable contribution is submitted by the EiC to a member of the Board of Editors (BoE). The recipient is responsible for the evaluation procedure. She/he will assign the contribution to two or more anonymous reviewers. The reviewers will provide a report  motivating one of the following publication recommendations: (i) accept as it is, (ii) minor revisions required; (iii) major revisions required; (iv) reject with encouragement to resubmit, (v) reject. The responsible of the evaluation procedure will forward the referee reports to the EiC together with her/his final publication recommendation. When two external reviewers are not available, the review will be provided by a member of the BoE and by a single external reviewer. The final decision on the publication of a contribution is taken by the EiC.

Papers authored or co-authored by BoE members are subject to the same procedure.

Discussion notes and reviews are examined by one or two BoE members.

Timing: the EiC will charge a BoE member for the revision process within one week from reception. Papers will be assigned to external reviewers by the responsible of the procedure within three weeks. Reviewers will have four weeks to give their opinion. Accordingly, the decision will be notified to the author of the submitted contribution within two months approximately. When revisions are needed, the author will have two more months to resubmit his/her contribution. The final decision will be taken within two weeks from the reception of the final version. Discussion notes and reviews will be evaluated in half the time required for papers.

The list of external reviewers is periodically disclosed at least every two years. The judgments and opinions of external reviewers on submitted contributions are anonymous.

Authors can provide the Editor in Chief with the names of persons they feel should not be asked to review a manuscript because of potential conflicts of interest.

Publication Frequency

RT will publish one issue every year.

Contributions will be published as soon as they are ready and have successfully completed the review process, and will be added to the current volume's table of contents.

Open Access Policy

Roars Transactions is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence 4.0.

With the licence CC-BY, authors retain the copyright, allowing anyone to download, reuse, re-print, modify, distribute and/or copy their contribution. The work must be properly attributed to its author.

It is not necessary to ask further permissions both to author or journal board.

RT Board of Editors

Editorial Board: Carla Barbati (University IULM Milan, Italy), Guillaume Cabanac (University of Toulouse, France), Sabino Cassese (Italian Constitutional Court, Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy), Sébastien Charles (University of Sherbrooke, Canada), Aldo Geuna (University of Turin, Italy), Francesco Lissoni (University of Bordeaux IV, France), Henk Moed (Elsevier, The Netherlands), Lucia Monaco (Telethon Foundation, Italy), Thomas Nickles (University of Nevada, U.S.A.), Luis Sanz-Menendez (CSIC-IPP, Spain), Daniel Torres-Salinas (University of Navarra, EC3, Spain), Anna Tramontano (University of Roma La Sapienza, ERC Council), Valerio Vercesi (INFN, Italy), Hugh Willmott (Cardiff Business School, U.K.), Gereon Wolters (University of Konstanz, Germany).

Editorial Committee: Antonio Banfi (University of Milan, Italy), Francesca Coin (University of Venice, Italy), Francesco Coniglione (University of Catania, Italy), Giuseppe De Nicolao (University of Pavia, Italy), Paola Galimberti (University of Milan, Italy), Mario Ricciardi (University of Milan, Italy), Giorgio Sirilli (CNR, Italy), Francesco Sylos Labini (CNR, Italy), Vito Velluzzi (University of Milan, Italy).

Editor in chief: Alberto Baccini (University of Siena, Italy)

Managing Editor: Antonio Banfi (University of Milan, Italy)

Articles and submissions processing charges (APC)

RT does not ask for articles and submissions processing charges APC.


The journal stores its content in http://www.depositolegale.it/ via National Bibliography Number (NBN) service within the national project Magazzini Digitali

The journal has enabled the PKP PN (Preservation Network) plugin, in order to preserve digital contents through LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe)  project



Editors have a duty to act promptly in case of errors and misconducts, both proven and alleged. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers. In case such as errors in articles or in the publication process, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, appropriate steps will be taken, following the recommendations, guidelines and flowcharts from di COPE.  Corrections will happen with due prominence, including the publication of an erratum (errors from the publication process), corrigendum (errors from the Author(s)) or, in the most severe cases, the retraction of the affected work. Retracted papers will be retained online, and they will be prominently marked as a retraction in all online versions, including the PDF, for the benefit of future readers.