About the Journal

About the Journal

Memorie della Società Astronomica Italiana (MemSAIt) is the scientific Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society (SAIt). At the early times, the Journal was especially dedicated to report solar spectroscopic studies, thus it is among the oldest journals dedicated to astrophysics (Foderà Serio, Giornale di Astronomia, 2020, Vol. 46, n. 2). It was founded in 1872 by Pietro Tacchini in Palermo, as Memorie della Società degli Spettroscopisti Italiani. Then it was extended to a larger audience including classical astronomy, as required by the increasing Italian astronomical community. The Journal changed its name to the current one in 1920, when the Società degli Spettroscopisti became the Società Astronomica Italiana, President Vincenzo Cerulli.

For more than 50 years, MemSAIt had a fundamental role in the diffusion of the work of Italian astronomers, publishing occasionally also papers of foreign scientists. The cover was redesigned in 1974, when the directorship passed from Guglielmo Righini to Livio Gratton, changing from a sober ivory to blue. This change was accompanied by a deep editorial change as well. A national scientific journal had in fact a diminished role, at the time when many European journals had merged into Astronomy and Astrophysics. MemSAIt started to publish mainly proceedings of international meetings, and adopted English as an official language, to ensure a wider international audience.

The international target and the monographic nature of each issue where hence reinforced, and they are now the distinctive character of the Journal. In 1986, to further underline the new course, the Board of the Society decided for a new cover, a bright red with an insert from the monographic subject of each issue. Since 1991, after the death of Livio Gratton, Roberto Pallavicini, who was Editorial Director since 1984, has been its director, assisted by Achille Leani. From 2002 to 2020, Piercarlo Bonifacio has been the Director of the Journal, by publishing almost one hundred volumes with contributions from high level international meetings. 

At almost 150 years from the its birth, in 2021 the Journal suffered a significant crisis. Mostly due to the COVID-pandemic, international conferences and meetings were all done in remote and the opportunity to easily record them made less popular the writings of conference proceedings. Furthermore, Piercarlo Bonifacio resigned his role as Director of MemSAIt. 

From 2021, Giuliana Fiorentino has been appointed as Editor in Chief and the full Editorial Board has been renovated. To increase the scientific impact in the astrophysical community MemSAIt is now an open access and peer-reviewed Journal. The scientific targets of the Journal remain Conference proceedings with special attention to invited talks and reviews. Original monographs on targeted topics are also encouraged. To highlight the new status as peer review Journal, MemSAIt has also undergone a restyling in the layout, a cover with teal coloured and textured paper are now used.