Mandatory policy success

From: Professor Arthur Sale <Arthur.Sale_at_UTAS.EDU.AU>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 12:23:07 +1000

The results of a survey carried out by the Australasian Digital
Theses program have recently been released. The full report is
available at
It applies to the deposit of open access electronic copies of
research theses (eg PhD) in university repositories in Australia and
New Zealand (and thence searchable through the ADT gateway

It is apparent from the report (and indeed highlighted by the
authors) that a mandatory deposit policy results in a submission rate
of 95% of all theses accepted, while its absence results in a
submission rate of 17-22% (in other words, a pitifully empty
repository). While this should not be news to anyone, the report has
hard quotable facts on the success of an institutional mandatory
policy over a substantial population of universities.

59% (ie 33) of Australian and New Zealand universities have mandatory
deposit policies in place in 2007, so the technological change has
gone well beyond the tipping point. I expect the remaining 41% of
universities to follow suit in the very near future; the report
suggests that 24% had already started planning to this end in 2006.

In another interesting fact, three universities have provision for a
thesis to be lodged electronically only (in other words no paper
copy) and one is considering it. It is not clear how much this
provision is used for hypermedia theses, or if it will spread.

Arthur Sale
University of Tasmania
Received on Thu Jun 21 2007 - 10:58:59 BST

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