RePEc collects a lot of metadata about publications in economics and finance, their authors, citations and more. All this data is provided by volunteers with the understanding that it is freely available for non-commercial uses while there is no explicit licence for the data.
By the very nature of RePEc, the data is highly decentralized and may be somewhat difficult to get to, at least for a novice. To this end, we have now a document that should help the potential user getting to it. It is not straightforward, and the data needs substantial massaging for the user to make good use of it. We hope this will be useful, though.
This has been a busy month. We have introduced a new set of rankings which are based on publications from the last 10 years only. We now have a fantasy league that allows economists to pretend leading an academic economics department. We got a large crop of new participating archives, namely: Kyoto University, University of Leeds, National Tax Association, University of Miskolc, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin, Economic Laboratory for Transition Research (ELIT), Librello publishing house, Ethiopian Development Research Institute, Wageningen University, “Nicolae Titulescu” University of Bucharest, Tohoku University, DePauw University, Nepal Rastra Bank, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. We have counted 636,339 file downloads and 2,762,688 abstract views. Finally, these are the thresholds we passed.
6000 listed series and journals
1600 participating archives
Following a successful beta testing, a fantasy league is now live on IDEAS. It all started with an April Fool’s post on this blog that many found to be a great idea. We will see now whether this is true.
As we do not have a publishing season, and publishing is very slow in economics, the rules had to be adapted from the standard fantasy leagues in other “sports.” They may need to be amended in the future, but players will be alerted well ahead of any changes. And if you are uncomfortable with being traded in a fantasy league, you can opt out.
RePEc has been publishing rankings of various sorts for over a decade. While many of them can still be considered experimental due to limitations in the data, they have had an impact on the evaluations of institutions, economists and journals in quite a few instances. Gradually, these rankings have been expanded to cover more and more aspects of academic life, as well as slicing them by fields, geography, gender and age. These rankings have typically considered all publications listed in RePEc. This can be a disadvantage for younger economists and publication series (although there are criteria that discount citations by age, for example).
We are now introducing a new set of rankings that limit themselves to publications in the last 10 years. For example, to compute an impact factor for a journal, only articles published in the last 10 years are considered. For an economist, anything published over 10 years ago is dismissed (unless the article version falls within 10 years). The ranking page has links to all those new 10-year rankings.
A few caveats: As samples are smaller than for the general rankings, the 10-year rankings will be more volatile, and any measurement error will be larger. For this reason, the 10-year rankings are not computed for fields and geographies. Also, any criterion that is based on recursive factors will still need some time to stabilize as they have to go through several iterations for them to converge, and they will never fully converge, as new data keeps coming in and data will have to be dropped every year. Finally, we cannot count research from publishers who do not supply publication years.
The decentralized nature of metadata collection in RePEc can make it challenging for users to understand where to ask for corrections to incorrect data. In particular, in the vast majority of the cases, asking the RePEc team to amend something is not the solution even though this is the first reaction of users. To facilitate this process, we now have a page on IDEAS that describes whom to address requests for corrections. In most cases these are the metadata publishers, but there are exceptions.
What is new this month? We inaugurated a job market paper archive for the doctoral students looking for academic opportunities. We welcomed a few new participant archives: Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies, ROME Network, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Competitività Regole Mecati (CERM), Job Market Paper Archive, Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro, Now Publishers. We also counted 525,434 file downloads and 2,100,794 abstract views in September 2013. Finally, we passed only one threshold this month: 400000 items indexed by JEL code. There will be much more to report next month.
A graduating economics PhD or doctoral student who is looking for a job in academia or policy circles is typically doing so with a “job market paper.” The JMP is the one that many recommendation letters from faculty focus on, it is the one that is mostly talked about in job interviews, and it is presented during campus visits. It is thus fair to say that the JMP is the best this student has done so far, and a lot of effort goes into this paper. Shouldn’t this work then be more widely disseminated than a few recruiting committees?
We are thus introducing the Job Market Paper archive on RePEc. Job candidates can upload their paper, which gets the standards treatment of any new working paper in RePEc: it gets listed on the many services using RePEc data, including the websites EconPapers and IDEAS, as well as the email notification service NEP. In addition, the papers are hosted by a RePEc server for posterity. This is important, as job market candidates tend to find jobs and often move their web page as a consequence, resulting in broken links. Finally, the presence of the papers in this series clearly identifies the author as a new economist one may want to look at for a hire. Recruiters can simply follow what is new in this archive.
As expected, certain restrictions apply. To learn more, see here.
Note for that for those who are not on the job market and do not have access to a local working paper series that participates in RePEc (instructions), MPRA is still available.
Laura Ştefānescu is Professor at the Faculty of Financial Management Accounting of Craiova, Spiru Haret University, Romania, where she teaches Elements of Information Technology, Business Informatics, Databases, Decision System Support, E-Business.
In 2008, she started volunteering for RePEC by editing weekly reports on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy (NEP-KNM) and from 2010 as General Editor of NEP. In this respect, she prepares the weekly lists of new working papers from which the field editors will pick those relevant to their report. This crucial task is largely invisible to the public, hence we thank Laura for her selfless dedication to the cause of democratizing the dissemination of research in economics. And, unfortunately, she is the only woman among those most heavily involved in RePEc. We would welcome more!
Over the past month, we welcomed the following new archive participants: African Governance and Development Institute, Universität Bern (II), Universitatea Creştină “Dimitrie Cantemir” (II), American Enterprise Institute, OSINERGMIN (Peru), Central Bank of Montenegro, University of Tokyo (II), Better Advances Press, Université Libre de Bruxelles (II). With the addition of Cameroun and Montenegro, this brings the number of countries hosting RePEc archives to 78. We also counted 1,806,601 abstract views and 437,187 downloads from those RePEc services participating in our statistics.
Finally, the following thresholds where passed last month:
30000000 cumulative articles downloads
1300000 items available online
800000 articles available online
500000 articles with abstracts
200000 articles with extracted references
5000 cited books
3000 software components available online
20% of registered authors indexed in RePEc Genealogy
Back on the 1st of April (Fool’s Day) of this year, I introduced the RePEc fantasy league. While this post was to be more on the humorous side, many people took it seriously. And interest for the league is unabated, with several people recently asking about it. So I guess there is sufficient demand, and it looks like it could be fun to play with economists. Hence, I want to make a proposal, ask for comments, and let people vote whether such a fantasy league should be run.
Here is the proposal. As the publishing output of economists is rather slow-moving and there is no defined season for play, the league is set up for continuous entry and play is on an infinite horizon. A set of rules has been drafted, and I welcome comments about them, especially from those who are more used to play in this kind of league.
For those who are worried that they could be virtually subject to trades, there would be the ability to opt out from being played with.
Beyond fine-tuning rules, there is also the question whether such a league should be run at all. Below is a poll that will be open for a month. Feel free to vote.
Welcome to the RePEc blog. We, the RePEc team, discuss here the workings of RePEc and seek input from the community on how we can improve. We also want to give more volunteers opportunity to be part of this project and provide valuable services to the profession. Finally, we also discuss issues about the dissemination of research in Economics.
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