Polls on ranking disclosures

Rankings have become an important part of RePEc and we regularly get request about non-published rankings. Indeed, depending on the ranking in question, only the top 5%, 10% or 20% among authors or institutions are displayed, depending on the geographic or field aggregation. Given the insistence of some requests, I am now considering whether RePEc rankings should be disclosed in a more extensive fashion. Before making any changes, I am seeking the opinion of users.

But first, let me expose the reasons of the limited disclosure so far. Our interest is to have as many institutions and people participate in RePEc, and keep their data there current. Rankings provide the right incentives for this. Thus RePEc participation is our focus, and rankings are an accessory (and we still consider them to be experimental, as the data is still far from complete). We know, however, that at least some people do not like their poor rankings exposed and would thus remove their registration in RePEc if this were exposed. Thus, too extensive ranking disclosure would defeat their purpose. But I have no idea how widespread this would be. The second reason for limited disclosure is that rankings become less reliable as one goes further down the list. Consider, for example, that 28% of all authors have no recorded citation. Third, full disclosure will create a lot of large files and tables. We have about 22000 authors and 4500 institutions to rank…

The following polls are not binding. There results will help to define what users want. Feel free to discuss aspects that go beyond the options of the polls in the comment section (of this post, not of the individual polls). I will then decide what to do. For both author and institution rankings, the options are: 1) keep things as is, 2) disclose all the way to the top half, 3) keep things as is, but provide rankings for the following one in clusters. For example, rank the top 5% as now, then have a list of the top 6-10%, another for the top 10-15%. 4) Provide full rankings. Polls will be open until November 21, 2009.

Update: Polls are now closed. A post soon will discuss results as well as various adjustments to rankings.



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3 Responses to Polls on ranking disclosures

  1. sterndavidi says:

    I voted for top 50% but actually the top 20% makes sense to me. At the moment there is only the top 5% for the global and field rankings but the top 20% for countries. Therefore, already everyone in the top 20% in a country can see their national ranking. So it makes sense to me to extend this to the top 20% of the fields and global ranking. I actually think the field ranking is most interesting to extend further as at the moment in my fields (energy and environment) at least there are a lot of people in the top 5% who don’t really do much work in this field but are top general economists. Extending the listing to the top 20% might give a better idea of who are some good people in the field. Of course, it would also include me then in the list :)

  2. macchiavelo says:

    I definitely agree. I think the field rankings are much more important, for example, when students are looking for any kind of program (BA – PhD) in Economics.

  3. rtol says:

    I see I’m in the minority.

    I think all data should be disclosed so that it can be used for other purposes. The IDEAS/RePEc team is too busy to do special runs, and the databases are too intricate for outsiders to programme special runs.

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