Is there a correlation between an author's open access track record and success in obtaining grant funding? Some analysis of recent grant awards by Jim Till in the blogpost Better Access to Cancer Care in Canada found that 60% of articles recently published by successful CIHR grant applicants were freely available. This is less than the 100% OA we would like to see, and Jim muses about how to move toward 100%. From my perspective, another very interesting perspective emerging from this analysis is that
there appears to be a very high percentage of spontaneous open access provision by successful grantees, not only before the CIHR Open Access Policy came into effect, but even before it was announced.
While this sample is too small to be considered conclusive proof, this data may suggest a trend that would be worth exploring. There are several factors which seem likely to create a correlation between authors' tendencies towards providing open access to their work, and success in obtaining grant funding. These include the preference of funding agencies for open access, differential accessibility of previous research to grant reviewers, the open access citation advantage (OA articles are more likely to be cited more), and the open access quality bias (the best works by the best authors are more likely to be made openly accessible, whether by the authors or their funders).