How to log into the Socionet system to test enrichment facilities

November 17, 2014

In a previous note I described use cases of publication enrichment and gave information how to find out your publications at Socionet experiment with this new service. The following note provides instructions on how to log into the system.

When you browse publications at Socionet you may see in its menu the following option: “Unknown user – please login”. This appears any time you are not logged in to your account.

befor log in

If you have an account at RePEc Author Service (or at Socionet Personal Zone) you can click on “please login”. Then you get to a login page. It has a form for RePEc users, as shown below. Here you enter your Short-ID provided for you by the RePEc Author Service.

auth page

After pressing the button “Log in through…” you will be moved on the RePEc Author Service identification form.

 

If you log in there, with your RAS login/password, you will be brought back on the initial page describing a publication. As a confirmation that you have logged in you will see in the publication menu the following information

or if the system recognized that the browsed publication is yours (i.e. it is linked to your personal profile) you will see this

When you are thus logged in as a RAS user at Socionet you can create an unlimited number of enrichments (linkages and annotations) for any publication available at RePEc and Socionet. All the data you create are saved by default into your personal storage on the Socionet server. You can check your current stored content by clicking on “Created linkages”  in the services menu as seen above. If there is at least one created linkage you will see a table like this.

Titles of linkages in this list are generated by software and consist of handles of the linked objects and the specified semantic. You can delete linkages by using check boxes on the right. Once a day (each night by Moscow time) the system synchronizes the current content of this storage with the public data base of Socionet. So if you create new linkages (or delete existed) they will (dis)appear on pages of enriched publications after night updating procedures. Usually it is finished about 8-9 am of Moscow time.

The Socionet administrators – currently it is just me – receive notifications about newly created personal storages. They make a decision about switching on its harvesting to the public Socionet database. In a case of non-proper user behavior the administrators can stop publishing our personal storage in the public site and they can delete your data from the public system.


New facilities for RePEc authors to enrich their publication metadata

November 7, 2014

In his recent post Thomas Krichel discussed some new Socionet facilities for authors which technically work as a creation of semantic linkages between different RePEc entities (papers, personal profiles, etc.).

As Thomas mentioned at the moment we, i.e. the Socionet team, are opening these new facilities to RePEc users for experimentation. The easiest way to get to take part is to have an  account at the RePEc Author Service (RAS). I have a conference paper with the technical details.

RAS registrants with linked publications can make experiments in seven main use cases. Let me take these in turn:

1. You can specify the roles of your co-authorship in the making of a collective paper. The idea for such a facility and initial taxonomy of author roles comes from a Nature commentary (http://www.nature.com/news/publishing-credit-where-credit-is-due-1.15033) as well as from the CRediT project. The Wellcome Trust, Digital Science, CASRAI, and NISO as members of this project that has also started a survey on the Standardized Taxonomy for Contributor Roles.

2. You can make some updates to the way your paper is described. It can be done in two ways: 1) by annotating text fragments of a paper’s abstract to provide readers with additional and/or newer information on the topic; and 2) by linking a paper to its newest versions, and/or to related papers that appeared later.

3. You can link your paper to show to readers an evolution of ideas or a development of approaches through a set of your papers.

4. You can contribute data on how the works referenced in your paper are used.

5. You can make recommendations to and/or share useful information with registered authors whose papers you are looking at. In this case your proposal will look as a linkage with some taxonomy between some of your papers and the one you are currently reading.

6. You can establish relationships of scientific development or complementarity between your paper and the one you are currently reading.

7. You can issue your professional opinion about another paper by using a specific taxonomy.

You can look at one of my papers where I made some enrichment. You will see the implementation of above points 1, 2, 3, and 4.

I plan to publish at the blog notes with instructions how to test each use case listed above.  It will provide discussions about taxonomies that we used, user interfaces that we built and so on.

We would like to have feedback from the community on this new technology and on created new opportunities for scientists. I see a lot of benefits for the research community related with further development of this approach.

If you have your account at RePEc Author Service, you can open your publications at Socionet, log in, and make experiments with its enrichment right now.

There are three simple ways to find a paper of yours at Socionet:

1. By a Google search with a string like this “site:socionet.ru krichel redif”, where keywords “krichel” and “redif” specify you as an author and something from a title or an abstract of your paper;

2. If you know your RAS short-ID (use RePEc Short-ID lookup tool) you can open your personal profile at Socionet and use hyperlinks to your publications there. To open your profile at Socionet replace in this URL the word “short-ID” on your real RAS short-ID –  http://socionet.ru/pub.xml?l=en&h=repec:per:pers:short-ID.  For example, Thomas Krichel has RAS shotr-ID = pkr1. So the URL to his personal profile at Socionet is http://socionet.ru/pub.xml?l=en&h=repec:per:pers:pkr1

3. If you can find a handle (RePEc ID) of your paper in IDEAS or EconPapers, you can just insert it instead of word “handle” into this URL – http://socionet.ru/pub.xml?l=en&h=handle, e.g. for a handle “repec:rpc:rdfdoc:redif” the URL should be like this – http://socionet.ru/pub.xml?l=en&h=repec:rpc:rdfdoc:redif

See also detailed instruction on how to log into the system with your RAS short-ID.

Note: at Socionet pages of papers, personal profiles, etc. at the right top corner there is a link to switch on the another language version. The link will be “[eng]” or “[рус]” depends on which language version is now opened.

Enjoy!


RePEc in October 2014

November 4, 2014

No new features to announce for RePEc in the last month, but some are in the works for November, as a continuing series of blog posts is indicating. October is usually the busiest month on RePEc, likely because this is the period where all universities are in session and no major holidays keep people from looking for economic literature. Accordingly, traffic has been up, to 580,787 file downloads and 2,101,037 abstract views for the reporting RePEc services. In terms of content, we reached to major marks: 4,000 working papers series, and 1 millions works listed in registered author profiles. This was in part facilitated by the fowwling new RePEc archives: Economists for Peace and Security, Kochi University of Technology, Journal of Economics and Political Economy, Institute for Business and Finance Research, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI, Japan).


How authors can improve their RePEc ranking

October 31, 2014

The main purpose of RePEc is the dissemination of economics research. Over time, various services were added to the bibliographic mission, including rankings of economists according to their publication output. Despite being still experimental (we will see why), these rankings have become quite important in the profession. This post explains how authors can best leverage the various RePEc services to improve their standing in these rankings. The rankings are computed using a number of criteria, each highlighting different aspects of research productivity. The headers below reflect these categories.

Number of works

Several criteria are just counts of works. The difference is that the works are weighted using various impact factors. To best leverage this, it is important that an author has as many works as possible listed in RePEc. This indexing is typically done by the publisher, which would be a publishing house in the case of books, book chapters or articles, or the local research institution for working papers. Over 1700 such publishers currently participate, and more can join by following these instructions. It is all free.

If that does not help, one can upload a working paper version at the Munich Personal RePEc Archive (MPRA). It will be listed as a working paper, not as an article, but at least it is on RePEc. Many publishers allow a version that is prior to the final published version to be disseminated there, you can check on the policies at SHERPA/RoMEO

Finally, only the works that the author has claimed on the RePEc Author Service are counted. Authors get emails when something new may be there, but action by author is required to add this to the profile (very few publishers add a code that puts the work directly into the profile). So check your account on a regular basis, and make sure all the possible variations of your name are listed there, or RePEc cannot find all matches.

Number of pages

This criterion applies only to works published in journals and uses several weighting schemes. But the same principles apply as above: if some article is missing on RePEc, get the publisher to participate. Sometimes the publisher is actually participating but is not indexing that particular journal, volume, issue or article. Complain with the publisher, not RePEc. Any page on a RePEc service associated with that publisher has a contact email address for such purposes. Complain there as well if there is an error in the listing for any of your works.

Note that some journals do not provide page numbers. It is therefore not possible to count pages in such cases.

Number of citations

Again, these counts are weighted in various ways. The basis are the citations discovered by the CitEc project. This is likely where the data is the most experimental as some publishers do not allow access to full texts to extract references or link to an intersticial page before the full text. Authors can help here, though, by supplying reference lists. There is a form that asks for all references of an articles, not just those that cite the author. The hope is that this will help complete more rapidly the database, and this gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to a public good. Over 1000 authors have helped so far.

Note that matching references to documents in RePEc is a difficult exercise and pairs that fall in a grey zone are sent to the RePEc Author Service for authors to verify. So check from time to time whether there is something waiting for you there.

It can also help to consolidate different versions of the same work. This is done automatically if the title is identical and the author has all versions in the profile. If the titles differ, this form allows to establish the links. Also, encourage also those who cite you to be registered, as two criteria use this information.

Finally, we cannot count citations to works that are not listed in RePEc. If the article is not listed, getting a working paper version listed will help.

Abstract views and downloads

We can only count what is going through the participating RePEc services. For example, a link from an author’s homepage to a full text on the publisher’s website cannot be captured because it did not transit through RePEc. Thus, either provide a link to the author’s profile from IDEAS or EconPapers, or put a link to abstract pages from these services. Put a link to the profile page in the email signature. Note also that working papers generate many more downloads than articles. So, keep your working papers in your profile if you publish an article!

Unfortunately, the temptation to manipulate these numbers is big. Hence, a number of safeguards have been put in place: repeatedly downloading a paper will count only once, for example. Tell your class to download your papers and you will earn a zero. More details (but not too many) can be found on the site that published these statistics, LogEc.

Co-authorship network

Two criteria are based on how central an author is in the co-authorship network. Details can be found at CollEc. To improve one’s score here, one needs of course to get co-authors to be listed on RePEc with a profile (and their co-authors, too).

Student advising

This looks at how good an author’s doctoral students are performing with respect to all the criteria above. Thus, if one has been advising students, one needs to make sure this is recorded in RePEc. If the students have a profile, head to the RePEc Genealogy and complete their entry in the academics family tree of economics. Or do it for your advisor.

Final thoughts

One may be disappointed that it is a little bit of work to ensure that one is properly taken into account in the RePEc rankings. RePEc is an crowd-sourced project, it thus relies on the contributions of the community, and has done so, we think successfully, since 1997. If everyone pitches in a little (or more), we can make it even better. And if this helps improve one’s ranking, even better!

Of course, there is also the fact that writing better papers helps for one’s ranking, too.


New linkages with RePEc

October 23, 2014

In my previous post, I have alluded to the fact that the value of RePEc comes from linkages between identified elements. In the next post, I will set out a working example of linkage usage in the CollEc project. In this post, I’m discussing a direction for future work. It’s about creating new linkage type. Much of this is already implemented at SocioNet. SocioNet is a RePEc service that originated in Russia in the 1990s. They hold RePEc data and combine it with local data.

Recently, login data from the RePEc Author Service has become available to other RePEc service via a protocol known as openID. Soon RAS-registered users will be able to login to SocioNet without having to create a SocioNet account, just simply by using their RAS account. SocioNet then knows that you are an identified author. When you are logged into SocioNet in this way, SocioNet knows that you have written a bunch of papers, that I will now call “your papers”. Based on the knowledge of your authorship, it can assume that you know your work and the surrounding literature. It can give you get a personalized web interface based on RAS data. In that interface you will be able to conveniently supply further details about your work.

First, SocioNet can enquire about the role of your collaborators in a given research paper. In conventional abstracting and indexing data, all contributors to a paper are placed into a list of authors. But usually, the co-authors each have different roles in the papers writing process. You can indicate the roles using a simple controlled vocabulary.

Second, using SocioNet you will be able to provide linkages between papers. One of the linked papers has to be yours. The other paper may be yours, but it may not be.

Let’s look at cases where you wrote both papers that you want to link. One thing you may want to tell users is how papers relate to each other. So you can say that one paper is an abridged version of the other, that a third paper is a development of the fourth. Eventually, such relationships could be picked up by RePEc services to create commented links between your papers. This is particularly useful if you have a version of a paper you don’t like any more. You can point users to a better version of the paper.

When you only wrote one of the papers, the other paper has to be on the reference list of one of your papers. In that case you can bring in a vocabulary containing terms like “develops model from”, or “uses software from” or “uses data from”. There are two aspects to these document to document relations.

One is that guessing the context of a citation is really difficult using the automated ways in which the citation is actually being produced. If users can take a small amount of time to classify citations according to a simple menu than we would be able to get more valuable information about the structure of ideas across papers.

The other is that building relationship with sources of data and software would advertise the data and software and promote the sharing of these resources. RePEc already works with software.  It would be great if it could work with datasets, i.e. as and when reusable datasets would be considered as publications in their own right, then users could point to a dataset used in the publication right in the metadata. It could then be possible to create a list of all the publications using a certain dataset. That would be a great way to unify papers on a certain topic and of course, to promote the dataset maintenance as an additional academic endeavour.


RePEc in September 2014

October 3, 2014

Quite a few new developments this month: All RePEc sites hosted at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis are now encrypted (“https”), allowing a more secure user experience. You can now add a picture, social networks and areas of interest to your citation profile at My CitEc. The random paper finder on IDEAS now uses citation weighting. And the dormant NEP-AFR report (New Economics Papers on Africa) has been revived. Not bad for a single month.

We counted 491,312 file downloads and 1,797,609 abstract views in September 2014. NEP got another record traffic month, possibly helped by the fact that NEP reports are now available on Twitter. We have also welcomed the following newly participating RePEc archives: Association of African Young Economists, Universität Duisburg-Essen (III), Université d’Orléans, University of St. Andrews (II), Bank of Japan (II), University of Limerick, Syddansk Universitet, Universität Kiel, IQRA University, Multinational Finance Society. As to the thresholds we passed:

80000000 cumulative downloads from reporting RePEc services
1500000 indexed documents available online
750000 paper announcements through NEP
750 NEP-ALL reports


Why reported traffic is declining

September 28, 2014

Back in May 2012, we were complaining that reported traffic on RePEc sites was declining. This trend has continued and we need to revisit the issue.

Looking at the graphs at LogEc it is quite obvious that traffic is not increasing as you would expect, including accounting for the the fact that there is actually more and more material indexed on RePEc. Before looking for the reasons, we need to explain how these statistics are computed.

Only a limited set of RePEc services reported the detailed traffic statistics needed to compute this: EconPapers, IDEAS, NEP and Socionet. Aggregate numbers are not sufficient for other RePEc services to report their statistics, one needs a lot of details to determine whether traffic is robotic or human, to remove duplicates and to detect fraud attempts. If fact about 90% of total traffic is rejected for statistical purposes on those grounds. This complexity makes that several sites that use RePEc data are not reporting anything about their traffic. This includes: EconLit, EconStor, Google Scholar, Inomics, Microsoft Academic Search, OAISter/WORLDCAT, Scirus, Sciverse and very likely more. The fact that the data collected by RePEc is used in many places is not contrary to our mission. We want to improve the dissemination of research in Economics. But we seem to be able to track only a fraction of its use. As the number of RePEc services reporting statistics has not increased, while the number of sites using RePEc data has, we could explain the decrease in reported traffic as cannibalization. The overall use may have increased, and user satisfaction too, but we cannot demonstrate it.

Of course, given that we are filtering the traffic statistics, we may be filtering too much, and increasingly so. We have indeed tightened some rules over time, mostly to avoid counting new traffic patterns that are visibly not legitimate. For example, IDEAS threw out 3.4 millions abstract views (or two per listed abstracts) in July 2014 thanks to a single pattern rule that was introduced about a year ago. But this pattern was previously not problematic, so it is difficult to conclude that such tightening can explain a reduction in traffic. It remains a fact that the proportions of traffic that is excluded is steadily increasing. In raw numbers, IDEAS keeps breaking records. It filtered numbers, traffic is declining. Is it because there are really more and more robots out there?

The same applies to other potential explanations: Several institutions are caching our websites. several have all their members access the web through a single IP address and are thus undistinguishable to us. In both cases, downloads by different users look to us like they are coming from the same person and are counted only once. Is this more prevalent than before? Yes in both cases, but caching is very minor, and IP bundling pertains mostly to governmental institutions and corporate networks. How much this matters is difficult to evaluate.

The big elephant in the house is traffic coming from search engines, and most importantly Google. Google has changed its ranking criteria over time. Google Scholar has started privileging the original source over aggregators like RePEc several years ago, and the impact has been increasing as more publishers give Google Scholar direct access to their repositories. This pertains also to the general Google search engine. For example, traffic from Google to IDEAS dropped by a third from one day to the next on May 22, 2014, after Google decided to penalize the search ranking of aggregator web pages.

Finally, we cannot exclude that RePEc services are indeed less popular, which is bad. But if this is because people are more easily finding what they are looking for, then this is good, as the core missing of RePEc is to improve the dissemination of research in economics.


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