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Online accessibility of academic articles and the diversity of economics


Boppart, Timo; Staub, Kevin E (2012). Online accessibility of academic articles and the diversity of economics. Working paper series / Department of Economics 75, University of Zurich.

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.

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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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:A11, D83, O31, O33
Uncontrolled Keywords:Digitization, online publication, bibliometrics, knowledge production function, recombinant growth, citations, networks, scholarly communication
Language:English
Date:May 2012
Deposited On:16 May 2012 12:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:49
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:51
ISSN:1664-7041
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp075.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-62417

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