OA Week: Testing the Finch Hypothesis on Green OA Mandate Effectiveness

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Fri Oct 26 14:39:48 EDT 2012

In June 2012, the UK Finch Committee made the following statement:

"The [Green OA] policies of neither research funders nor universities themselves have yet had a major effect in ensuring that researchers make their publications accessible in institutional repositories…" [Finch Committee Recommendation, June 2012] 

Testing the Finch Hypothesis
We have now tested the Finch Hypothesis. Using data from ROARMAP institutional Green OA mandates and data from ROAR on institutional repositories, we found that deposit number and rate is significantly correlated with mandate strength (classified as 1-12): The stronger the mandate, the more the deposits. The strongest mandates generate deposit rates of  70%+ within 2 years of adoption, compared to the un-mandated deposit rate of  20%. The effect is already detectable at the national level, where the UK, which has the largest proportion of Green OA mandates, has a national OA rate of 35%, compared to the global baseline of 25%.
The conclusion is that, contrary to the Finch Hypothesis, Green Open Access Mandates do have a major effect, and the stronger the mandate, the stronger the effect (the Liege ID/OA mandate, linked to research performance evaluation, being the strongest mandate model). RCUK (as well as all universities, research institutions and research funders worldwide) would be well advised to adopt the strongest Green OA mandates and to integrate institutional and funder mandates.
The findings are in the link below. Discussion invited!
Gargouri, Yassine, Lariviere, Vincent, Gingras, Yves, Brody, Tim, Carr, Les and Harnad, Stevan (2012) Testing the Finch Hypothesis on Green OA Mandate Effectiveness. Open Access Week 2012
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