This article uses an evidence-based approach to assess the difficulties faced by developing country scientists in accessing scientific literature. I compare the backward citation patterns of Swiss and Indian scientists in a database of 43,150 scientific papers published by scientists from either country in 2007. Controlling for fields and quality with citing journal fixed effects, I find that Indian scientists have shorter reference lists (-6%) and are more likely to cite articles from open access journals (+50%). Moreover, the difference in the length of the reference list is more pronounced in biology and medicine, where circulation of (free) preprints and conference proceedings is non-existent. Informal file-sharing practices among scientists mitigate the effects of access restrictions.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2009|