SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • citation analysis;
  • Internet inforamation resources;
  • information access;
  • scholarly publishing;
  • domain knowledge

The Internet has substantially increased the online accessibility of scholarly publications and allowed researchers to access relevant information efficiently across different journals and databases (Costa & Meadows, 2000). Because of online accessibility, academic researchers tend to read more, and reading has become more superficial (Olle & Borrego, 2010), such that information overload has become an important issue. Given this circumstance, how the Internet affects knowledge transfer, or, more specifically, the citation behavior of researchers, has become a recent focus of interest. This study assesses the effects of the Internet on citation patterns in terms of 4 characteristics of cited documents: topic relevance, author status, journal prestige, and age of references. This work hypothesizes that academic scholars cite more topically relevant articles, more articles written by lower status authors, articles published in less prestigious journals, and older articles with online accessibility. The current study also hypothesizes that researcher knowledge level moderates such Internet effects. We chose the “IT and Group” subject area and collected 241 documents published in the pre-web period (1991–1995) and 867 documents published in the web-prevalent period (2006–2010) in the Web of Science database. The references of these documents were analyzed to test the proposed hypotheses, which are significantly supported by the empirical results.