A quiet revolution has taken place regarding access to economic research, and this revolution is especially important for economists in developing countries such as Bangladesh. Ten years ago, it would have been difficult for a Bangladeshi researcher or policy makers to benefit from easy access to the recent economics literature relevant to his/her job, be it related to monetary policy or the fight against poverty.
Due in part to a rapid increase in the number of economics journals, most libraries could not afford to carry print versions of the many specialised journals that are needed to keep abreast of
development in one's field. Beyond journals, access to working papers is also important, and working paper series were even more difficult to access than journals.
Today, by contrast, thanks to the power of the web, amazing resources are now available for free through websites such as SSRN (Social Science Research Network at www.ssrn.com) or RePEc (Research Papers in Economics, at www.repec.org). RePEc is probably the website of choice for
economists with (as of the end of February 2009) 712,000 items of interest. This includes 282,000 working papers, 422,000 journal articles, 1,700 software components, and 5,000 book and chapter listings. Some 19,300 authors are listed on the website, with their detailed contact information and publication listings. The site also includes 11,100 institutional contact listings. . . .
The web is a revolutionary force for democracy and openness. With RePEc, this is certainly the case within the economics profession. The services that RePEc provides should be especially valuable in developing countries, where other means of access to the economics literature are limited. But for these benefits to be fully reaped in Bangladesh, it will be necessary for more
Bangladeshi researchers to register with RePEc, use the site's services to quickly learn about the new research being conducted in their fields, and make their own works better known.