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Centre for Transformative Innovation and Swinburne Law School Research Seminar

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Date: Thursday 6 April 2017
Venue: Moot Court, TD120, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Campus

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Online accessibility of scholarly literature, and academic innovation

by Dr Kevin Staub, the University of Melbourne


Starting in the late 1990s, preexisting volumes of economics journals were scanned and uploaded to the internet, making these articles accessible online via search engines and hyperlinks. This paper analyzes the effect of this online accessibility of the literature on the innovational strength of follow-on research. We provide a new measure of innovational strength that depends on the novelty of the combinations of cited references. This measure quantifies whether an article relies on references that are already well-connected in the citation network or rather combines different strands of the literature for the first time.

We document that online accessibility led to more innovative follow-on research according to this measure. The same qualitative effects are found with an alternative output measure of creativity based on the number of topics an article touches on. Moreover, we show that our measure of innovational strength has predictive power for received future citations. 

About the speaker

Kevin Staub is a Senior Lecturer of the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne. He obtained his PhD from the University of Zurich in 2011.

Before joining the University of Melbourne, he held postdoctoral positions at Princeton University and the University of Zurich. He is currently a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Fellow for the Australian Research Council (2017-2019), and a Research Fellow for the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn (2015-2017). His research areas are applied econometrics (in particular, discrete and limited dependent variables, and panel data) and empirical economics (in particular, applied microeconomics and trade).

His research has been published in journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, and others.

This research seminar is brought to you by Swinburne Law School and the Centre for Transformative Innovation. Join our monthly seminar series - check the Faculty of Business and Law events page for future seminars.

Contact Information: Julien Brailly
Email: Tel: +61 3 9214 8991