RePEc in January 2015

February 3, 2015

We are into a new year and have welcome our first new RePEc archives: New School for Social Research (II), Eurasian Academy of Sciences, Tokyo Center for Economic Research, Universitatea din Craiova, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region. We are now polling for a new institution ranking. Also, the RePEc Biblio now accepts reader suggestions for the listed topics, and topic editors can now decide to accept them in their listings of most relevant papers. We counted 523,396 file downloads and 2,195,639 abstract views, which brings us to the thresholds we passed:

1500000 cumulative software component downloads
800000 paper announcements through NEP
20000 book chapters available online


Poll about new RePEc institution ranking

January 26, 2015

The rankings provided by RePEc are becoming increasingly popular. They are far from perfect, though. One frequent criticism is that institution rankings depend on the size of the institution, as they simply add the scores of all affiliated economists. It is unfortunately not possible to offer per-capita rankings, as the registration system does not distinguish between faculty and students. What one could do, however, is to count only the top x people from every institution. The question is what this x should be.

We want to ask the RePEc community to determine this x with the poll below. The vote will be open for a month, the option closest to the median will be selected.

A few technicalities: As economists with multiple affiliations have to set shares for each, those shares will therefore also be used to determine who counts up to x. This means that more than x people will likely count towards the institution’s score. Also, institutions with fewer than x registered economists will not be compensated for the remainder of the allocation.


RePEc in December 2014, and a look back at 2014

January 6, 2015

Let us first discuss what is new from last month. First, IDEAS changed its website layout to be more friendly for our users on mobile users. Other RePEc websites will soon follow suit. Second, the NEP-CWA (Central and Western Asia) has been revived. And third, we welcome the following new RePEc archives: University of Tennessee, KSP Journals, Davidson College, Instytut Badañ Strukturalnych, Montana State University, Institute of Agroecology and Environmental Management. For the set of RePEc services that share such statistics, we counted 497,673 file downloads and 1,901,689 abstract views in December 2014.

This all helped us pass the following thresholds last month:

1700000 items listed in RePEc
600000 items with extracted and matched references
500000 working papers with abstracts
400000 cited articles
300000 working papers with JEL codes
1750 participating archives
1000 followers on NEP twitter feeds

Now, what have we acheived in 2014? For one, our archive maintainers (of which there are 122 more) have added a ton of material: over 200’000 works, or an increase of 14%. While 54’000 working papers and 220 new series were added, the big push came from journals with 266 new journals and almost 150’000 new articles indexed in RePEc. Over 4’000 authors are newly registered. We counted 25 million abstract views and over 6 million downloads. The RePEc team has also worked hard to improve the user experiences, making the website more accessible for mobile devices as well as secure, and adding many features: NEP reports are now available through Twitter, CitEc added many new features, and we are now working with the Replication Wiki.

While in some ways one can consider RePEc to be a mature project, it dates back to 1997 in its current form, it is still surprising how much growth it is experiencing. And there is still a lot of potential, especially in terms of enhancing the information disseminated by RePEc. We will see more of that over the next year.


IDEAS website now mobile friendly

December 30, 2014

As more and more people are using phones and tablets to surf the web and in particular to consult the RePEc websites, IDEAS has just moved to a new layout that is more friendly to such devices. Specifically, the display adjusts to the size of the browser window. We hope this will make it easier for our numerous mobile users. Other RePEc websites will follow.

Note that some IDEAS pages will still show the old layout. It takes some time to convert 2 million pages. If anything looks amiss, contact us! Or visit us at the ASSA 2015 meeting in Boston, at the St. Louis Fed booth in the exhibitor hall.


RePEc in November 2014

December 3, 2014

We have a new feature! Socionet is adding a facility that allows authors to enhance the records af publications. An ongoing series of blog posts is detailing all what can be done at Socionet. Also, RePEc will be at the ASSA meetings in Boston, January 3-5, 2015. Visit us at the St. Louis Fed booth in the exhibitors hall to chat with us, learn something or make suggestions. Documentation (and gifts) will be available.

Here are the institutions that started a RePEc archive in the past month: Action IS1104, Iqra University, Tennessee State University, Bruno Kessler Foundation, Universidad del Desarrollo, Universidad de Costa Rica, University of Rijeka. For EconPapers, IDEAS, NEP and Socionet, we counted 592,234 file downloads and 2,219,287 abstract views. And we passed the following thresholds:

250000000 cumulative abstract views on IDEAS (that is a quarter billion)
15000000 cumulative downloads through EconPapers
600000 listed working papers
75000 NEP subscriptions


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.


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