Keeping informed about the problems in Italian higher education lights your fire? The effort to evaluate academic performance in Italy’s universities floats your boat? Then you will certainly want to have a look at the ROARS (Return On Academic ReSearch) blog. Recent contributions have focused on the Valutazione della Qualità della Ricerca 2004-2010 – the third, by far the most detailed and systematic, evaluation of the research productivity of staff and departments in the past ten years, covering the 184,742 books, chapters, articles and conference papers produced in Italy’s scientific communities over that period which were submitted for assessment. Parts of the discussion – how to use bibliometric data fairly, deal with the distinctive publishing practices of different disciplines and ensure that friends and enemies will nonetheless provide informed and impartial assessments – match the debates in Australia and elsewhere when similar exercises were introduced. But many of the distinctive features of higher education in Italy are also brought out clearly in the cut-and-thrust of the contributions. The blog’s list of tags shows the very wide range of university issues covered, some of which have been addressed in the posts by Marino Regini (22 November 2012) and Edda Orlandi (11 April 2013).