Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 651–653 | Cite as

Italian Adagio: Every Law has Its Loophole

  • Maria Pina DoreEmail author
  • Giovanni M. Pes
  • Fabrizia Faustinella


The Italian law of December 2010 establishes new criteria and parameters for the evaluation of faculty members. The parameters are represented by the number of articles published in journals listed in the main international data banks, the total number of citations and the h index. Candidates with qualifications at least in two out of three parameters may access the national competitions for associate or full professor and apply for an academic appointment. This system developed with the aim to fight nepotism and promote meritocracy, progressively led to the deterioration of the Italian university system. Since promotion in academia is strictly dependent on publications the faculty members found the solution to get over this system by organizing themselves into large consortia or small groups with the purpose of sharing authorship in scientific publications. In this way parameter thresholds may be easily reached and even surpassed. An Italian adagio says: “Fatta la Legge, Trovato l’Inganno”; “Every law has its Loophole”. However, there is no science without ethics and researchers must stay away from any kind of compromise.


Academic ethics Faculty member appointment Recruitment metrics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Pina Dore
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Giovanni M. Pes
    • 1
  • Fabrizia Faustinella
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Clinica MedicaUniversity of SassariSassariItaly
  2. 2.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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