November 25, 2015

New Working Paper: “Testing the Finch Hypothesis on Green OA Mandate Ineffectiveness”

Here’s a new working paper from researchers in Canada and the UK.


Testing the Finch Hypothesis on Green OA Mandate Ineffectiveness


Yassine Gargouri
Université du Québec à Montréal

Vincent Lariviere
Université du Québec à Montréal

Yves Gingras
Université du Québec à Montréal

Tim Brody
University of Southampton

Les Carr
University of Southampton

Stevan Harnad
Université du Québec à Montréal
University of Southampton




We have now tested the Finch Committee’s Hypothesis that Green Open Access Mandates are ineffective in generating deposits in institutional repositories. With data from ROARMAP on institutional Green OA mandates and data from ROAR on institutional repositories, we show 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.

Direct to Full Text (7 pages; PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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