Re: DRIVER study recommends OA Mandates

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 15:04:24 +0100

    Forwarded from BOAI Forum: Important corrections from Professor Wilson
    regarding the true rate and proportion of spontaneous self-archiving
    of article full-texts. This rate and proportion is almost certainly
    over-estimated by the Driver Study -- but that only reinforces its
    recommendation that self-archiving needs to be mandated. -- SH

Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 23:23:21 +0100
From: Prof. Tom Wilson <>
To: BOAI Forum <>

One of the items in Peter Suber's OA News made me raise my eyebrows:
he quotes from the DRIVER report that:

"On average, the estimated percentage of research output of 2005 deposited in
the digital repositories is 37%"

This, of course, is a Europe-wide study and perhaps the success of repositories
varies considerably from country to country. In the study I did last year of
the UK repositories, I estimated that they contained something in the order of
3% of the research output from the UK in 2004 - I would be very surprised if
they had improved tenfold in one year.

Looking further into the report I see that only 57 UK institutions were invited
to respond to the investigation and, of these, only 51% responded (and we can
assume that those who respond are most interested in the subject under
investigation). The report also notes that:

"On average a digital repository contains in total 8,984 items."

Meaning, of course, items of all kinds, not solely journal papers. Again, this
figure contrasts starkly with the situation I found in the UK, where, the
combined total of journal papers in ALL of 21 repositories available for study
was 9,739 - an average (meaningless, of course, as any average of a skewed
distribution) of 464 items per repository. In fact the totals by institution
ranged from 2 items in total to 5,139 items, with a median value of 78 items.

A comparison of these data with those form the DRIVER report still leaves me
puzzled :-)

Professor T.D. Wilson, PhD, Hon.PhD
Publisher/Editor in Chief
Information Research
Web site:
Received on Thu May 03 2007 - 15:24:45 BST

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