The article is an abbreviated form of the author's MA thesis, and comprises the results of an analysis of publication and citation of economics literature. The growth of the monograph literature of economics seems to be below average, but a high birthrate of economics journals together with a growth in their size gives a high growth rate of periodical literature. From the analysis of citations in nine journals for 1950, 1960, and 1968 a shortening of the active life of both journal and non‐journal literature is found. A high degree of concentration of journal use is shown, over 70% of journal citations being from 20 titles, and the concentration is shown to be increasing. A rise in the use of unpublished material, especially working papers is indicated. Comparisons are made of the research use, measured by citations, with undergraduate use, measured by an analysis of reading lists at three British universities. Some tentative implications of the results for library policy are suggested.
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