This paper uses an evidence-based approach to assess the difficulties faced by developing country scientists in accessing the scientific literature. I compare backward citations 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 (1) have shorter references lists (2) are more likely to cite articles from open access journals and (3) are less likely to cite articles from expensive journals. The magnitude of the effects is small which can be explained by informal file sharing practices among scientists.
open access, scientific publishing, developing countries, access to knowledge
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