Access to scientific literature in India

Patrick Gaulé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2548-2553
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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