How to follow what is new in economics research

February 20, 2014

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

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

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 Search

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.

IDEAS Search

Similarly, IDEAS allows to restrict search results to specific years. When looking up by JEL code, items are sorted with the most recent first.

EconAcademics

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.


About lost economists

January 30, 2014

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.


1.5 million documents in RePEc

January 17, 2014

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.


IDEAS now has a fantasy league

October 28, 2013

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.

Have fun playing!


A proposed RePEc fantasy league

August 22, 2013

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.


EconomistsOnline closing

July 18, 2013

This guest post was written by Kieron Jones.

The Nereus Steering Committee has reached the decision that Economists Online (EO) should close on 01 January 2014. This follows a period of consultation and discussion, and reflects the portal’s costs of on going maintenance, progress made in content acquisition, preferences of economics research users and usage figures. All EO services will continue to be available and updated for the rest of 2013.

The research made available through the NEEO project and subsequent EO portal will still be accessible via individual repositories and RePEc services. Some of the additional functionality offered by EO can still be retained or made available. For example:


  • The RePEc archive of publications from participating EO partners will cease. However, individual institutions can liaise directly with RePEc if they wish their material to still be available through RePEc services. Instructions are available here.
  • Publication lists for EO researchers will be discontinued. A number of options are available. EO can provide participating institutions with an export of researchers’ lists, institutions may maintain a research publications service or authors may wish to create their own lists using RePEc or Google Scholar.
  • Usage statistics will no longer be available. Options are available for DSpace repositories and through the paid service OA Statistik.
  • With regard to the discontinuation of the Nereus Dataverse Network, institutions can create their own archive in the DVN. Links can then be connected to articles residing in repositories.

If you would like further information, please contact the Economists Online helpdesk.


Introducing the RePEc fantasy league

April 1, 2013

Fantasy (or rotisserie) leagues allow player to manage team members from a real-life competition to compose optimal teams. Fantasy leagues organize their own competitions and are popular in a variety of sports throughout the world. RePEc now has its own fantasy leagues, which allow players to manage economics departments. Specifically, there are two leagues.

Scratch league

Department owners in this league pick faculty members from the pool of authors registered in the RePEc Author Service and create departments from scratch. They need to keep a topical balance and all start with the same budget. Simulated departments are evaluated using the same criteria that underly the ranking of real life institutions.

Extant league

Here, department owners start from an existing department and then trade its faculty to improve it. Simulated departments are evaluated by comparing them to the existing ones they started from. Only economics departments are available for this league.

Markets

Both leagues work with separate markets for economists. Initial prices are based on current ranking scores of the registered economists. All currently registered economists are part of this market, and one can ask to be excluded from this market after log in.

Rules

Rules follow standard fantasy league rules. A few specificities for economists:

  • Departments in the scratch league require that economists work in a balanced set of fields. These are based on which topical NEP mailing lists disseminated their working papers.
  • One cannot short an economist.
  • Newly registered economists are added to the pool with an initial price corresponding to their ranking after the release of new monthly rankings (between the thrid and fifth day of the month.
  • Fantasy league rankings are not public.
  • A department owner cannot add him/herself to a department. If member of the original department in the extant league, he/she has to immediately trade him/herself.
  • One can play at most one department in each league.
  • Legues do not follow a seasonal schedule, they are continuously open.
  • Rules may be adjusted if the need arises.

Enjoy!


A compendium of RePEc services

March 12, 2013

Since its formal founding 16 years ago, RePEc has grown into a large collection of various services. Users are aware of some, but not all of them. This is an attempt to collect all services that use RePEc data. RePEc is in fact just a way of organizing and collection bibliographic data in economics. Publishers index their works and put it in the public domain through RePEc. Service then use this data in various ways, in part by enhancing it. All linked services are completely free to users and managed by volunteers.

Browsing and searching the database

These are the most basic functions you would want to do with a bibliographic database. Several services provide this. The most popular are IDEAS and EconPapers. Others include Economists Online and Socionet. What distinguishes these services is that they report usage statistics (see below). Yet others that use RePEc include: EconLit, EconStor, Google Scholar, Inomics, Microsoft Academic Search, OAISter/WORLDCAT, Scirus and Sciverse. Shop around and use the one that is the most to your liking!

Curated material

While most the services above provide the complete RePEc bibliographic data, it is the user who has to sift through the material to find what she needs. A few services act as facilitators by helping users with the help of editors who sort and curate the material. NEP disseminates through email and RSS feeds the latest working papers across over 90 fields. The new RePEc Biblio determines the 10-20 most relevant papers in a growing number of fields and sub-fields. EconAcademics.org identifies economic research currently being discussed in blogs.

Specifically for authors

Some services are especially geared towards authors. The RePEc Author Service allows them to create a portfolio of all the works listed in RePEc. Other services then can link from the works to the profiles, and authors can get statistics and new citation notifications. CollEc analyses co-authorship networks and allows, for example, to find how many steps removed from each other any two authors are. The RePEc Genealogy allows to see who graduated where and when and who was the advisor. Finally, the RePEc Plagiarism Committee handles potential plagiarism cases and votes on them, in particular whether to name and shame offending authors.

Statistics

Several RePEc services report traffic on their website, which allows to compute a host of statistics, which are displayed at LogEc. Those, along with citation numbers, allow to compute a large number of rankings of authors, institutions, and papers, including impact factors for serials.

And more

As already mentioned, there is a citation analysis project, CitEc, which uses complex algorithms to extracts references from pdf files and match them with RePEc content.

MyIDEAS allows a user to track other authors, JEL codes, journals or working papers series, as well as build a personal bibliography while browsing on IDEAS. The Socionet Personal Zone also provides some of these functionalities.

EDIRC is a directory of economics institutions with plenty of links to affiliated authors and alumni, as well as compilations of their publications.

Finally, for those authors who do not have the benefit of their local institution participating in RePEc with its publications (see instructions), the Munich Personal RePEc Archive (MPRA) allows them to upload their papers to be included in RePEc.


The RePEc Biblio

February 25, 2013

We are proud to announce the launch of the latest RePEc initiative, the RePEc Biblio. This is a hand-selected collection of the most relevant articles and papers on a wide variety of economics topics. RePEc Biblio is organized as a tree, narrowing the topics as you follow its branches.

The RePEc Biblio lives from the contributions of volunteer editors. Consider helping out if you have taught a class on a topic and have already put together a literature list. Feel also free to contribute your vision of the best papers from your area of research. Volunteer editors are welcome to sign up to populate the tree, either by contacting the manager or the relevant topic editor who can open a sub-topic or sub-sub-topic. We are looking for editors in both the broadest and narrowest fields. And to encourage good editing, readers can rate the topic entries.

Note that IDEAS links from papers, articles, editor profiles, and JEL codes to the relevant RePEc Biblio topics. Authors also find mention of their papers in RePEc Biblio on their IDEAS citation pages.


News about EDIRC, the index of economics institutions

November 21, 2012

EDIRC is an index of economics departments, institutes and research centers created in 1995 that has been feeding RePEc with data about such institutions. But beyond just a listing of institutions, it has evolved into an information source of its own right. Currently, it has the following additional features:


  • Links to journals or working paper series published by the respective institutions and indexed in RePEc.
  • Listings of all people affiliated with the respective institutions and registered with the RePEc Author Service.
  • For these people, a link to a compilation of all their publications.
  • A recent add-on is a listing of all alumni (final degree) as found on the RePEc Genealogy.
  • For the alumni as well, a link to a compilation of their publications.

With close to 13,000 listed institutions, EDIRC has grown a lot since its start. After all those years, the database will now go through some gradual changes, among which are:


  • New categories: the current ones were designed when there were only a few hundred listed institutions.
  • About 12% of the links are known to be invalid. They are currently being systematically checked for better addresses, but this will take several months.
  • Institutions that are known to be defunct and that have no links to people or publications will be removed.
  • When possible, chairs and similar “micro-institutions” will be consolidated. They change too frequently and have become a maintenance burden with no significant benefit. This pertains particularly to Germanic universities.
  • An effort is currently being made to add translations of institution names to English wherever possible. Indeed, it appears that even natives users search for the English name.
  • Speaking of search, the search engine will be improved to make searches more intuitive and efficient than is currently the case.

Of course, any help is always appreciated. In particular, if you notice a bad link, a valid one is always appreciated. And you will be credited along with all the other contributors.


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