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James Evans has an article in the July 18 issue of Science Magazine, showing that when researchers have access to more papers, they cite fewer of them in their own work. The July 18 isn't yet online, but here's an article from today's Economist about Evans' research. (Thanks to Heather Joseph). Excerpt:
Update (7/18/08). Evans' paper is now online: Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship, Science, July 18, 2008. Only this abstract and the supporting online material are free online:
Update (7/18/08). Brandon Keim's blog post on the article at Wired Science has triggered a discussion in the comment section.
Update (7/18/08). Also see Lila Guterman, Access to Online Journals Reduces Breadth of Citations, Study Finds, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 18, 2008 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
Update (7/19/08). Also see Bill Hooker's analysis. Excerpt:
Update (7/19/08). Bora Zivkovic has collected a good number of early comments on the paper.
Update (1/5/09). Also see the January 2, 2009, letter to the editor of Science by Yves Gingras, Vincent LaRiviere, and Eric Archambault. Excerpt: