Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, October 01, 2007

More evidence that OA mandates work

Stevan Harnad, Success Rate of the First of the Self-Archiving Mandates: Southampton ECS, Open Access Archivangelism, September 30, 2007. 

SummaryAdopted in January 2003, the self-archiving mandate of the University of Southampton Department of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) was the world's first. It has since served as a model for a growing number of such mandates worldwide. (As of October 2007, 32 funder and institutional/departmental Green OA self-archiving mandates have been adopted, and 8 more proposed.) In 2004-5, two large international, interdisciplinary author surveys by Alma Swan had predicted that the willing compliance rate for such self-archiving mandates would be over 80%. In 2005-6, Arthur Sale estimated from data on actual depositing behaviour in Australian repositories that mandates would reach Swan's predicted compliance rate in about two years.

Now Southampton's Les Carr has confirmed Swan's survey predictions and Sale's Australian extrapolations: the ECS Departmental Repository's deposit rate in 2006 is over 80% for an ISI Web of Knowledge sample and nearly 100% for an ACM Digital Library sample. This should encourage other universities to adopt self-archiving mandates and help persuade US legislators to upgrade the failed NIH "public access" policy to a mandate in the next US Senate Appropriations Bill.