Online Accessibility of Academic Articles and the Diversity of Economics

University of Zurich Department of Economics Working Paper No. 75

52 Pages Posted: 18 May 2012

See all articles by Timo Boppart

Timo Boppart

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES); University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Kevin E. Staub

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 9, 2012

Abstract

A key aspect of generating new ideas is drawing from different elements of preexisting knowledge and combining them into a new idea. In such a process, the diversity of ideas plays a central role. This paper examines the empirical question of how the internet affected the diversity of new research by making the existing literature accessible online. The internet marks a technological shock which affects how academic scientists search for and browse through published documents. Using article-level data from economics journals for the period 1991 to 2009, we document how online accessibility lead academic economists to draw from a more diverse set of literature, and to write articles which incorporated more diverse contents.

Keywords: Digitization, online publication, bibliometrics, knowledge production function, recombinant growth, citations, networks, scholarly communication

JEL Classification: A11, D83, O31, O33

Suggested Citation

Boppart, Timo and Staub, Kevin E., Online Accessibility of Academic Articles and the Diversity of Economics (May 9, 2012). University of Zurich Department of Economics Working Paper No. 75, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2060979 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2060979

Timo Boppart (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Z├╝rich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Kevin E. Staub

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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