Erasmus University Rotterdam has recently announced that they will mandate Open Access deposits of all their research output. Will this help to stimulate Open Access?
At Wageningen UR we only stimulate Open Access deposits in Wageningen Yield (WaY) but until now only depositing PhD theses has been mandatory. Since 2002, when depositing PhD theses became mandatory, the library has been struggling to get its hands on the PDF versions of the PhD theses. It looks like keeping up the pressure helps: we can now proudly announce that in 2009, 98 percent of all PhD theses became electronically available. So, although it should not be necessary, mandating Open Access deposits helps.
Interestingly, the large majority of theses are based on the preprints of articles published in scholarly journals. The dissertations contain on average 4 chapters that have been published, have been submitted, are in press or are in the final stages of preparation. A quick calculation shows us that this represents about 40% of the Wageningen UR’s peer reviewed article output.
We have not linked the individual chapters in theses to the right articles in our repository, but Google Scholar often locates the right chapter in the theses when performing known item searches. These are not counted in the official OA statistics, but are available to the scientific community. That’s what counts.