Why Scholars Scull
"Disagreement is always good — creative, even. I am not trying to change Richard Poynder's mind, just openly airing points and counterpoints, in the spirit of open peer commentary... 1. I agree that the home pages of Institutional Repositories that that simply tout their generic overall deposit counts are doing numerology. 2. "Dark deposit" is rather ominous-sounding. The reality is that there are: (i) undeposited articles, (ii) metadata-only deposits, (iii) full-text non-OA article immediate-deposits (which are non-OA for varying intervals), (iv) full-text OA delayed-deposits and (v) full-text OA immediate-deposits. And there's the Button to supplement them. One can always describe cups as X% full or as (1-X)% empty. 3. No, to calculate yearly deposit ratios using WoS or SCOPUS in order to estimate total yearly deposit ratios is definitely not "deceptive": it is valid for WoS-indexed or SCOPUS-indexed output (which also happens to be the output that the OA movement is mostly about, and for), but it might be an underestimate or overestimate for non-WoS/SCOPUS output, if for some reason their ratio differs. So what? 4. Numerology is meaningless numbers, counted for their own sake, and interpreted according to taste (which can be occult, ornate or obtuse). Calculating correlations between mandate conditions and deposit ratios and drawing predictive conclusions from correlations whose probability of having occurred by chance is less that 5% is conventional predictive statistics (which only turns into numerology if you do a fishing expedition with a very large number of tests and fail to adjust your significance level for the likelihood that 5% of the significant correlations will have occurred by chance). We did only a small number of tests and had predicted a-priori which ones were likely to be significant, and in what direction. 5. Yes, there are far too few mandates, just as there are far too few deposits. Nevertheless, there were enough to detect the statistically significant trends; and if they are put into practice, there will be more effective mandates and more deposits. (The HEFCE/Liege immediate-deposit condition for eligibility for research evaluation turned out to be one of the statistically significant conditions.) ..."
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