Jan 12, 2012

Advice for academic bloggers

Greg Weeks gives some advice:
Anything goes, he suggests. Blogging is fun, but when it is done spontaneously (e.g. when the muses get you). 

For me blogging responds to a main objective: share my curiosity for economic development - mainly academic research, but also short pieces of general interest, podcasts, and videos. The main source for my posts is SSRN which is free-access. I check this site once or twice a day and pick the articles that look interesting - those that have unexpected conclusions or those that might be of general interest, non only of interest to economists. I have realized that probably 90 or 95 % of new research in economics - working papers - confirms the expected: "we found that innovation leads to more economic growth" kind of research. The remaining 5% tend to be more "innovative," with unexpected and interesting findings. I focus on the 5%. 

I also subscribe to different lists at RePEc and get e-mail updates once or twice a week.

Very often I check the websites of journals I like which are related to economic development such as: Economic Development and Cultural Change or World Development, among others. These journals do not give access to papers, but it is likely that the working papers are online as drafts. 

I check often  some pretty interesting journals not necessarily related to economic development. They publish interesting articles such as The Journal of Economic Psychology, Economic Letters, or the Journal of Economic Surveys. The National Bureau of Economic Research has been a very good source as well. The Quarterly Journal of Economics has been a good source but not as often as the others. Other blogs also link to pretty interesting research such as Chris Blattman's Blog and Marginal Revolution. Krugman's and Mankiw do that to. 

The wonderful thing about economists is that most of the published papers are available as working papers online, somewhere else in the web. Alas, that is not very common in other social sciences. That is one of the reasons I think economics is definitely more vibrant than other social sciences. When economists publish their research online, it is commented on by bloggers. Bloggers make some papers more visible. And whatever the paper has to offer flourishes, the positives and negatives. 

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