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Online accessibility of academic articles and the diversity of economics

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  • Timo Boppart
  • Kevin E. Staub

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 075.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:075

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

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  1. How did online journals change the economics literature?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-06-05 14:55:00

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