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Does Online Access Promote Research in Developing Countries? Empirical Evidence from Article-Level Data

46 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2016  

Frank Mueller-Langer

European Commission, Joint Research Center; Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Marc Scheufen

Ruhr University Bochum

Patrick Waelbroeck

Telecom ParisTech

Date Written: November 16, 2016

Abstract

Universities in developing countries have rarely been able to subscribe to academic journals in the past. The “Online Access to Research in the Environment” initiative (OARE) provides institutions in developing countries with free online access to more than 5,700 environmental science journals. Here we analyze the effect of OARE registration on scientific output by research institutions in five developing countries. We apply a difference-in-difference estimation method using panel data for 18,955 journal articles from 798 research institutions. We find that online access via OARE increases publication output by at least 43% while lower-ranked institutions located in remote areas benefit less. These results are robust when we apply instrumental variables to account for the information diffusion process and a Bayesian estimation method to control for self-selection into the initiative.

Keywords: Online Access, Academic Publishing, Information Diffusion Processes, Instrumental Variables, Bayesian Estimation

Suggested Citation

Mueller-Langer, Frank and Scheufen, Marc and Waelbroeck, Patrick, Does Online Access Promote Research in Developing Countries? Empirical Evidence from Article-Level Data (November 16, 2016). Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 16-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2870617 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2870617

Frank Mueller-Langer (Contact Author)

European Commission, Joint Research Center

Seville
Spain

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Munich
Germany

Marc Scheufen

Ruhr University Bochum ( email )

Massenbergstr. 11
BF 8.9
Bochum, 44787
Germany

Patrick Waelbroeck

Telecom ParisTech ( email )

46 rue Barrault
F-75634 Paris, Cedex 13
France

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