How is RePEc collecting its data?

March 26, 2014

Likely the most frequent request RePEc is getting is an author who wants us to add some publications to the database and wonders why our “spider” has not picked them up. The second most frequent is a publisher wondering why RePEc is neglecting to disseminate its output. The problem is that this is not at all the way RePEc functions. This short post provides the basics of how the metadata (the data describing the research documents) gets into RePEc.

The principle is that metadata comes directly from the providers. By providers we mean commercial publishers for their books and journals, or university departments for their working papers, or research centers for their papers, or policy institutions for their various publications. Thus, RePEc does not have a spider that surfs the entire Internet and tries to infer what it is that it stumbles upon. Rather, RePEc knows exactly where to look for the information that has been formatted in a way to optimize its usefulness. And if an author finds some publications are missing, it is either because the provider is not (yet) participating in RePEc, in which case it can follow these instructions, or because the provider has incomplete data, in which case a technical contact is listed on the RePEc page of the relevant journal or series and can help.

Desperate authors can also upload their works at the Munich Personal RePEc Archive, sponsored by the Library of the University of Munich, as long as they have the rights to do so (check here).

Why is RePEc data collection organized in such a way? We want RePEc to be free for all, so it needs to be set up in a way that does not generate costs. Thus, we put the burden of indexing on those who benefit the most from it, the providers. And close to 1700 are willing to do so. Any remaining central duties are picked up by the RePEc team.


RePEc in February 2014

March 3, 2014

Despite of this being the shortest month on record (with a few ties), we have a new record to announce: 19 new archives have joined RePEc: World Economics Association, FERDI, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies (VIII), Eindhoven University of Technology, Universitat de Barcelona (III), Colorado School of Mines, GECONTEC, Societatea de Stiinte Juridice si Administrative, Universidad Privada Boliviana, FESSUD, Istanbul Bilgi University, Lodz University Press, Vysoka skola podnikani, Institute of Microfinance, Borsa Istanbul, Peruvian Economic Association, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies (VII), US Congressional Budget Office, and Revista Mexicana de Economía y Finanzas. We also recorded 541,472 file downloads and 2,258,325 abstract views from reporting RePEc services.

In terms of thresholds, we have:

175000000 cumulative paper abstract views
120000000 cumulative article abstract views
3000000 cumulative book abstract views
10000 links from blog posts listed on EconAcademics.org


RePEc in January 2014

February 3, 2014

The big news this month is that we have now over 1.5 million documents indexed in RePEc. It took about seven months for the last 100,000. We can thus hope for the 2 million mark to be reached in 2016.

We also have a new NEP report: NEP-GRO (Economic Growth). We counted 538,501 file downloads and 2,233,278 abstract views through reporting RePEc services.

We welcomed the following newly participating archives: College of Europe, University of Piraeus, SEEDS, Madras School of Economics, IJRSEPA, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, Economy and Forecasting, Sprint Investify, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Economics of Nature and the Environment.

And finally, the thresholds we have reached this month:

1500000 indexed documents
900000 indexed articles
500000 documents with matched references
2500 advisors listed in RePEc Genealogy


RePEc in December 2013, and a look back at 2013

January 4, 2014

First about last month. CitEc has a new sponsor. We counted 512,345 file downloads and 2,274,496 abstract views, and we welcomed a small crop of newly participating archives: Redfame Publishing, Warsaw School of Economics, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Universität Trier. The Economists Online website has closed.

Here are the thresholds we passed last December:

500000 documents with extracted and matched references
8000 online books
3000 links from Wikipedia to documents or authors on RePEc sites

As for what we have done over the past year: We inaugurated several new features: the RePEc Biblio, MyIDEAS, 10-year rankings, a job market paper archive, and a fantasy league. We served 6,819,455 downloads and 29,020,533 abstract views. We welcomed 124 newly participating archives that added along with the existing ones about 173,000 documents to RePEc. We also counted over 4,000 newly registered authors. This continuing growth is quite surprising, as we would have thought that all low-hanging fruits were already gathered long ago. But no, they keep coming, and we welcome them with open arms.


RePEc in November 2013

December 4, 2013

The big news this month is that we reached a significant mark in terms of traffic. Since we started counting, and for those RePEc services that report these statistics, RePEc has facilitated 300 millions abstract views and 75 million full text downloads. This was after counting 639,213 file downloads and 2,764,484 abstract views last month. We also brought the number of countries hosting a RePEc archive to 80, with the following additions: Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center, Istanbul Commerce University, Sakarya University, CEPAL, UNU-MERIT, Econjournals.net, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, Bucharest University, Kingston University, Université Paris-Dauphine, Pak Publishing Group, Editions NecPlus, Edward Elgar. Finally the fantasy league got off to a good start, with already 163 players.

Also, RePEc will be present at the ASSA meeting in Philadelphia, the largest gathering of economists. You will be able to find us at the booth of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in the exhibitors’ hall, where we can explain the various RePEc services, take suggestions and answer questions.

And now for the full list of thresholds we reached:
300000000 cumulative abstract views
75000000 cumulative downloads
900000 documents claims in author profiles
80 countries hosting RePEc archives


The most popular web pages on RePEc services

November 29, 2013

We have occasionally been asked what the most popular web pages are on RePEc. This is somewhat difficult to determine, as there are many RePEc services, and they may log traffic in different ways. Only the counting of abstract views and downloads is treated uniformly, at LogEc. The list below should thus be taken with a grain of salt, and may be subject to measurement error and seasonal factors. In fact, one page is missing and should be somewhere in the top of the list, the EconPapers search page. Here we go:


  1. IDEAS search result
  2. IDEAS home
  3. Rankings
  4. RePEc Author Service home
  5. IDEAS journal list
  6. IDEAS paper series list
  7. IDEAS author list
  8. Top authors
  9. Top journals by simple impact factor
  10. Top economics departments
  11. Fantasy league
  12. EDIRC home
  13. MyIDEAS
  14. IDEAS advanced search page
  15. EDIRC alphabetical listing
  16. RePEc Author Service automatic suggestions
  17. IDEAS book series list
  18. EconPapers home
  19. MyIDEAS login
  20. Top US economics departments
  21. Top young economists
  22. Top institutions
  23. IDEAS JEL classification home
  24. CitEc home

A surprisingly large number of links to the rankings are in the list above. That should not indicate that economists are obsessed with rankings. IDEAS for example, has about two million web pages. The ranking pages actually represent only a small fraction of total traffic.


RePEc in October 2013

November 4, 2013

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


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