After a record crop, the last month was unusually calm in terms of new RePEc archives: Corvinus University Budapest, Università Bocconi, African Finance and Economic Association, and Chiang Mai University. We counted 616,841 file downloads and 2,692,082 abstract views. While these numbers are on the high side, this did not bring us any particular threshold, except that we reached 50000 registered people (not all of them authors) in the RePEc Author Service. That is it for a very short post this month.
Likely the most frequent request RePEc is getting is an author who wants us to add some publications to the database and wonders why our “spider” has not picked them up. The second most frequent is a publisher wondering why RePEc is neglecting to disseminate its output. The problem is that this is not at all the way RePEc functions. This short post provides the basics of how the metadata (the data describing the research documents) gets into RePEc.
The principle is that metadata comes directly from the providers. By providers we mean commercial publishers for their books and journals, or university departments for their working papers, or research centers for their papers, or policy institutions for their various publications. Thus, RePEc does not have a spider that surfs the entire Internet and tries to infer what it is that it stumbles upon. Rather, RePEc knows exactly where to look for the information that has been formatted in a way to optimize its usefulness. And if an author finds some publications are missing, it is either because the provider is not (yet) participating in RePEc, in which case it can follow these instructions, or because the provider has incomplete data, in which case a technical contact is listed on the RePEc page of the relevant journal or series and can help.
Why is RePEc data collection organized in such a way? We want RePEc to be free for all, so it needs to be set up in a way that does not generate costs. Thus, we put the burden of indexing on those who benefit the most from it, the providers. And close to 1700 are willing to do so. Any remaining central duties are picked up by the RePEc team.
Despite of this being the shortest month on record (with a few ties), we have a new record to announce: 19 new archives have joined RePEc: World Economics Association, FERDI, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies (VIII), Eindhoven University of Technology, Universitat de Barcelona (III), Colorado School of Mines, GECONTEC, Societatea de Stiinte Juridice si Administrative, Universidad Privada Boliviana, FESSUD, Istanbul Bilgi University, Lodz University Press, Vysoka skola podnikani, Institute of Microfinance, Borsa Istanbul, Peruvian Economic Association, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies (VII), US Congressional Budget Office, and Revista Mexicana de Economía y Finanzas. We also recorded 541,472 file downloads and 2,258,325 abstract views from reporting RePEc services.
In terms of thresholds, we have:
175000000 cumulative paper abstract views
120000000 cumulative article abstract views
3000000 cumulative book abstract views
10000 links from blog posts listed on EconAcademics.org
RePEc offers various tools to keep abreast of latest research developments in economics. Keep in mind that due to the unusually long refereeing and publication process in this field, following what is coming out in journals is often not the best way to keep current. The research frontier is advancing with working papers, and this is why RePEc puts a special focus on those. Note that all resources below are free, as always for RePEc services.
NEP (New Economics Papers) offers email lists and RSS feeds that disseminate approximately every week the latest online working papers across over 90 fields. Field-relevance is determined by volunteer editors who pick the appropriate papers among all working papers newly listed on RePEc during the previous week. Note that if you think a topic is not appropriately covered, you can volunteer as editor of a new report.
MyIDEAS allows you to follow new additions to JEL codes, author profiles, series and journals. This is done through the creation of an account on the IDEAS website. Once logged in, you can add the relevant items while navigating the site.
EconPapers allows to limit the search results to documents added recently to RePEc. Use the “Modified last” selection at the bottom left of the search form. One can also limit the list of items by JEL code and recency here.
EconAcademics follows the latest discussion of research on the blogosphere. While it does not necessarily mean this is the most recent research, it is often the case.
The big news this month is that we have now over 1.5 million documents indexed in RePEc. It took about seven months for the last 100,000. We can thus hope for the 2 million mark to be reached in 2016.
We also have a new NEP report: NEP-GRO (Economic Growth). We counted 538,501 file downloads and 2,233,278 abstract views through reporting RePEc services.
We welcomed the following newly participating archives: College of Europe, University of Piraeus, SEEDS, Madras School of Economics, IJRSEPA, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, Economy and Forecasting, Sprint Investify, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Economics of Nature and the Environment.
And finally, the thresholds we have reached this month:
1500000 indexed documents
900000 indexed articles
500000 documents with matched references
2500 advisors listed in RePEc Genealogy
A major component of RePEc is the RePEc Author Service, which allows economists to create an online profile of their works as they are indexed in RePEc. There are several benefits to this. For users, cross-links between profiles and abstract pages allow to discover easily what else the authors have written. For authors, they obtain download statistics and citation alerts, and a link they can refer people to their profile. As for departments, authors can count towards their rankings. So far, about 40,000 authors have registered.
Unfortunately, RePEc loses contact with some of the registered economists. The principal reason is that they move to a different address and neglect to amend their contact details at the RePEc Author Service. This is currently the case for about 500 economists, and we encourage notification to RePEc so that we can reconnect with them. A list of such authors is available here.
Sadly, we also lose contact with some economists because they pass away. While we obviously do not want to send them their monthly statistics, we still want to keep their profiles as they continue to provide information to users. This is why volunteers take over maintenance of those profiles. But before doing so, RePEc needs to be alerted that someone has passed away. Thus, do not hesitate to contact the RePEc Author Service administrator in this regard. A list of known deceased and registered economists is here.
The number of documents indexed in RePEc has recently surpassed 1.5 million. About 900,000 are journal articles, 560,000 are working papers and the rest is distributed across books, book chapters and software components. The number of documents available online is approaching 1.4 million. All this is contributed by over 1,600 archives, ranging from the major commercial publishers to small research centers.
I do not think we expected that many documents related to economics to be listed when RePEc was started. And yet, the number of additions keeps increasing. One would have expected all the low-hanging fruit to have been picked since 1997, but no, they keep coming. Fortunately, RePEc is completely scalable, so we are ready for the next half million. Some RePEc services (those using the RePEc data), however, start struggling a little bit with the mass of data. We expect that some efforts will be dedicated to back-end work for these services.
And if your institution or publisher is still not participating in RePEc, here are instructions. If you are an individual from an institution that does not want to participate, you can upload your works at MPRA and they will be included in RePEc.