Friday, March 25, 2011

open-access citations

Duh =)

I mean, this must be obvious to anyone who actually cites things. It may not be the ideal scholarly practice, but if I read a paper that cites multiple papers to make one point, and I want to make a similar point, so I look up those papers and only one is open-access, that's the one I cite. The trip to the library, the copy-card refiller station, and figuring out how to use those damn copiers to get a readable page once again and spending four times the advertised amount per page, is just not worth the added smidge of integrity of potentially discovering something unique about that one paper...

This is actually the ONE upside to the insanely long publication delays in economics, on the order of multiple years on average. By the time it actually comes out in print, the working paper version has been circulating the internet for years, copyright free. This of course means there's an added problem of citing specific dated versions of working papers that change over time... but that's ok. Rarely do you need to cite something so incredibly specific that it's only in one of the versions and not the published (peer-reviewed) one.

Edit: actually, by "open-access" above, I don't actually mean "open", I mean "open to the Berkeley network". But you get the idea. That rules out all those annoying journals that only put volumes on JSTOR on a timelag basis.

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