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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

Mark J. McCabe

Boston University - Questrom School of Business; SKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis Nice

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 14, 2013

Abstract

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

McCabe, Mark J. and Snyder, Christopher M., Does Online Availability Increase Citations? Theory and Evidence from a Panel of Economics and Business Journals (March 14, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1746243 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1746243

Mark J. McCabe (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/markjmccabe1/home

SKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis Nice ( email )

60 rue Dostoïevski
SKEMA Business School, Economics Department
Sophia Antipolis, 06902
France

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/markjmccabe1/home

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

301 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
(603) 646-0642 (Phone)
(603) 646-2122 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~csnyder/

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