Does Online Availability Increase Citations? Theory and Evidence from a Panel of Economics and Business Journals
50 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2011 Last revised: 17 Aug 2014
Date Written: March 14, 2013
Does online availability boost citations? The answer has implications for issues ranging from the value of a citation to the sustainability of open-access journals. Using panel data on citations to economics and business journals, we show that the enormous effects found in previous studies were an artifact of their failure to control for article quality, disappearing once we add fixed effects as controls. The absence of an aggregate effect masks heterogeneity across platforms: JSTOR stands apart from others, boosting citations around 10%. We examine other sources of heterogeneity including whether JSTOR increases cites from authors in developing more than developed countries and increases cites to “long-tail” more than “superstar” articles. Our theoretical analysis informs the econometric specification and allows us to translate our results for citation increases into welfare terms.
JEL Classification: L17, O33, A11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation