RePEc in July 2020

August 6, 2020

July is usually a very calm month, but we still got a good crop on new participating archives: Technical University Munich (II), Nazarbayev University, ECONtribute, Columbia University (II), Université Catholique de Louvain (II), National Academy of Sciences (USA), Asociación Argentina de Economía Política. Also, we counted 454,745 file downloads and 2,361,833 abstract views. Finally we reached the following milestones:

200,000,000 cumulative abstract views for articles
3,000,000 items available online
1,250,000 items with extracted references


A replication database for economics and social sciences: The ReplicationWiki

August 4, 2020

This is a guest post by Jan H. Höffler

The ReplicationWiki currently offers a database of 4,484 studies from the social sciences for which empirical methods were used. It lists which of the studies have data and code available online. In cases where replications are known they are classified by their type and results.

The topic of replication has become more and more prominent in the scholarly discourse in recent years. Yet, much needs to be done to make the availability of code and data more mainstream. To highlight how much work still lies ahead, even recent publications on the topic of replication in leading journals are not replicable and contain major flaws. For example, the authors of a study calling to make replication the norm that was published in Nature do not make their replication material available, ignoring the rules on data availability of the journal and the sponsor, the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences. Or, a study published in Research Policy came to the conclusion that work published in the top 5 economics general interest journals are less likely to attract replications published in leading journals, although the authors’ own data shows exactly the opposite.

So how can we get more replications to improve on the state of economics and discuss cases like the ones listed above? One important way is to include replication in the education of economists as was suggested by Daniel Hamermesh in his 2007 article on replication in the Canadian Journal of Economics. The ReplicationWiki followed this approach by setting up a teaching initiative that was presented, among others, at the Research Transparency Forum of the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) and Annual Meetings of the American Economic Association (2014, 2016). Seminars on replication were held at universities in Germany, Canada, China, and Switzerland and at a workshop in San Francisco with the Institute for New Economic Thinking Young Scholars Initiative, BITSS, and the Project Teaching Integrity in Empirical Research.

The advantage of the wiki approach lies especially in the fact that users can contribute to it without publishing a journal article. A working paper series was started for this purpose. Forum and blog posts can also be included as long as they have a verifiable author and make a contribution regarding the replicability of a published empirical study. On the studies’ discussion pages even very short comments can help other users like “To make the code work I had to add … at line …” or “The data has been moved to the following URL: …”.

For instructors, the wiki can help to identify examples for coursework as it allows searching for studies for which data and code are available, for which software was used that is accessible to the students, and for which a method was used that they should learn about. With the help of JEL codes and keywords preferred topics can also be searched for. Depending on the location of the students, it can also be motivating for them to see if research is available based on data from their home country (click here for an example). If it is not, they may be encouraged to compare results based on data from their country or region with the existing published research. For the students it can be an additional motivation if they can easily share their results with the research community via the ReplicationWiki.

The ReplicationWiki was described in more detail in a journal article. In the 2017 American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings an overview was given of economics journals’ data policies as well as of the distribution of the use of different software packages and of the geographical origin of the data used. In that article, some evidence was also presented that indicates that studies for which replication material is made available may attract more citations. This should be seen as a motivation for authors of empirical work who are willing to share their material to point this out by adding this information to the wiki. The ReplicationWiki has recently added a number of additional features. Now there are overviews of the methods, data sources and software used in the studies. In addition to replications the wiki now also provides information about corrections that have been published and whether studies have been retracted. Complex searches are now possible with a more user-friendly interface.

Initially the wiki covered studies mainly published in the Journal of Applied Econometrics, which already started an online data archive in 1995, the Journal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review and the four American Economic Journals. Now it covers studies published in 231 journals, 36 working paper series & blogs and 27 books. It lists 652 replications, 23 corrections and 14 retractions. As the wiki has been cited from a number of neighboring fields as an example to follow, it is becoming a hub for all social sciences. There have already been contributions in particular from political science and sociology.

The ReplicationWiki’s pages have been accessed more than 6.6 million times so far. It has been mentioned numerous times in the media, and more than 260 users from around the world have registered. As a wiki, it lives off the contributions of its users. We hope to encourage more users to contribute to this tool, or simply use it. In particular, one site feature that could become more valuable with higher participation is the ability to vote which studies should be replicated.

In July 2014, a cooperation with RePEc was started via a link exchange. For studies listed in the ReplicationWiki a link appears in the IDEAS section “Related works & more” under “Lists” like in this case, and on the authors’ pages under “Citations/Wikipedia mentions” like here.

Is your work listed? Check in and add it if not!


RePEc in June 2020

July 5, 2020

RePEc occasionally adds new functionalities, and when they do not work out, one has to accept to shut them down. We have stopped disseminating the new working papers from NEP through Twitter. This service was popular, with over 20,000 followers. Unfortunately, Twitter kept blocking the feeds and it was simple not workable. One can still get the NEP reports through email and RSS. The listings of economists on Twitter and the associated Twitter lists are still functional.

Over the last month, we counted 536,405 file downloads and 2,930,444 abstract views. We welcomed a few new participating archives: Institute of Statistics, Biostatistics and Actuarial Science, Learning Gate Publishing, Eastern Centre of Science and Education, Monash University(II). Finally, the milestone we reached:

700,000 articles with extracted references


EDIRC, the directory of economics institutions

June 30, 2020

RePEc is not just a bibliographic database, it is also a collection of services that leverage this database and in some cases also add to the data. One such service is EDIRC, a directory of economics institutions. Actually launched before RePEc existed, EDIRC lists since 1995 any institution that primarily employs economists in the public and academic sectors: economics departments, research centers, business schools, policy institutions, think tanks. Consulting shops are only listed is they contribute publications to RePEc. Over 14,000 institutions are listed, including over 800 societies and associations. Missing entries and corrections can be emailed to the maintainer.

As common with RePEc data, entries are shared with other services that can make good use of them. Thus, the RePEc Author Service offers EDIRC entries as potential affiliations to registered authors. The RePEc Genealogy uses them as potential Alma maters. EDIRC in turn uses this new information to display the members and alumni of an institution, including a link to their aggregated publications as listed on IDEAS. Note that maintainers of RePEc archives can also use the EDIRC handle of their institution in the description of their series, which creates a link between the EDIRC entry and the IDEAS listing, and back. RePEc is all about sharing and integration of information!


RePEc in May 2020

June 5, 2020

RePEc is back in full swing, with lots of new material indexed and lots of traffic as well. During last month, we counted 627,455 file downloads and 2,912,146 abstract views, and welcomed the following publishers: Institute of Business Administration (Karachi), ILMA University, Journal of Research in Economics, Politics & Finance, Association for Cultural and Socio-Economic European Collaboration, Indian Journal of Commerce & Management Studies, Gran Sasso Science Institute, IJSAB International, London Academy of Science and Business. And we reached the following milestones:

240,000,000 cumulative working paper abstract views
60,000,000 cumulative working paper downloads
3,200,000 indexed items
800,000 working papers with abstracts
12,000 blog posts indexed on EconAcademics.org


How RePEc works

May 30, 2020

Many users are unclear how RePEc works and how it differentiates itself from other services. This blog post tries to clarify in a succinct manner.

The core of RePEc is the metadata about the publications. The core is actually completely decentralized, and that metadata is compiled by the respective publishers and made available from their servers. There are currently over 2000 of those so-called RePEc archives. This means that publishers have full responsibility for their contents. The central core of RePEc is in fact just a set pointers indicating the location of the RePEc archives.

All that data is therefore freely available to anyone who wants to use it. Those are RePEc services that assemble all the pieces and make it available in various forms. For example, NEP sends emails about new papers, EconPapers and IDEAS allow to browse or search the data, or CitEc uses the data to try to extract citation data. The latter is an example of a RePEc service that enhances the data and makes it available to other RePEc services. A notable other example is the RePEc Author Service, which allows authors to create a compilation of all their works indexed in RePEc. These profiles are then reused by other services.

For more services using, enhancing, and disseminating the RePEc metadata, see the RePEc homepage. For instructions on how a publisher can contribute, see here. All RePEc services are free.


RePEc in April 2020

May 5, 2020

While most of RePEc is automated, and thus functions the same way whether we are in a pandemic or not, the content and the usage of the services have made noticeable shifts in the past month or two. First in terms of new content, it has slowed down, but with an exponential increase in material relating to Covid-19. As of this writing, there are 779 items relating to Covid-19 in RePEc. Also in terms of usage, it is slightly up compared to March, with an definite focus on Covid-19 related material. See for example, the 25 most downloaded working papers. All in all, we counted 617,754 file downloads and 2,914,152 abstract views.

Related to this, we inaugurated an Economics Virtual Seminar Calendar that is already getting very good usage. We have only two new RePEc archives to announce, though: IJSAB-International and the London Academy of Science and Business. Finally, we still reached a milestone:

800,000 articles with citations


New: A calendar of virtual seminars in Economics

April 16, 2020

With much of academia and most policy institutions working from home, seminars and workshops have moved online in the same way that teaching has gone virtual. Online seminars have the potential to broaden the public but have so far few ways to make their calendar known. RePEc is here to help with a new service: the Economics Virtual Seminar Calendar.

This calendar is based on user submissions and is updated regularly. As submissions accumulate, it will be subdivided by fields. Users can thus regularly visit the calendar to choose their viewings. MyIDEAS also allows to subscribe to seminar announcements by fields and users will receive an email every Sunday with the seminars of the following week.

We hope this service will prove useful to the profession.


RePEc in March 2020

April 4, 2020

The principal audiences of RePEc are the academic and policy worlds, and they are both in upheaval, in many cases, due to work from home and a change of focus. As detailed in a recent blog post, RePEc can help. This has been reflected in a healthy traffic for those RePEc services that report such numbers: 587,065 file downloads and 2,692,586 abstract views. Also, the circumstances have not prevented more archives to join RePEc: Ateneo de Manila University, Body of Expert and Licensed Accountants of Romania, Agence française de développement, Robert Triffin International, Entrepreneur’s Guide (Russia), University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. And we reached a few milestones:

1,600,000 items in author profiles
800,000 articles with extracted references


How RePEc can help you in times of upheaval, and how you can help RePEc

March 31, 2020

The academic, business and policy worlds currently through quite a bit of upheaval as people work from home, classes have moved on-line or have been canceled. People have to adapt to working differently. In various ways RePEc can help.


Bibliographic tools available off-campus

EconPapers and IDEAS are bibliographic websites for Economics that are accessible from anywhere. No need to be on campus or connecting through VPN to access a proprietary bibliographic tool.

Links to open versions of gated articles

Similarly to the above, if you cannot access some articles behind a publisher’s pay-gate, IDEAS often offers you another version in the form of an open-access working paper. Relevant links are on the articles pages on EconPapers and IDEAS.

Covid-19 related material updated daily

Material on RePEc is updated daily with feeds from over 2000 publishers. You can find material about Covid-19 easily by searching EconPapers and IDEAS. For example, this search on IDEAS gives you all the listed material, sorted by most recently indexed. The match count increases hourly.

Get rapid dissemination of Covid-19 related material

You did a study and want it rapidly disseminated? If your institution has its publications already indexed in RePEc, you are fine. If not, you can upload your study at MPRA for rapid dissemination through the various RePEc services, including NEP.

Find topical material about pandemics

The RePEc Biblio has curated listings of the most relevant works in various fields, including a topic on the Economics of pandemics and its sub-topics.

The current situation may also imply that some people have more time than usual, or have a need for some distractions. This may be a good opportunity to help RePEc in various ways. Some opportunities are below.


  • Offer to create a RePEc Biblio topic in your area of specialization

  • Contribute information about your students, advisors, and former students in your graduate program to the RePEc Genealogy. Note that the collected information is used for the ranking of graduate programs, so in a way you are helping yourself.

  • Take a moment to check that your RePEc Author Service profile is still current, in particular that there are no works waiting to be claimed, contact details are OK (many personal homepages are not), and that affiliations are fine. And if you not yet have a profile, create one!

  • Correct broken links in the directory of economic institutions, EDIRC. They are all marked with a red broken chain link.

  • We lost contact with some of our registered authors. Give use their new email address! They are listed with a red question mark on IDEAS and EDIRC, or all together here. If they have unfortunately died, we want to record that, too!