Exploring the pre-publication communication for RePEc users

September 13, 2016

Two months ago, we announced a new free RePEc service that allows RePEc users making a fragmentation/annotation of papers and linking whole papers and/or their fragments by scientific relationships. These new tools are publicly available at sociorepec.org. It can help researchers with their everyday academic work, like discovery, analysis, and writing of new papers.

Using these tools researchers create private or public micro research outputs (annotations, relationships, etc.). If it is public, SocioRePEc can initiate direct scholarly communication between the researchers who used some papers to create micro outputs and the authors of the used papers. Such direct communication takes place while researchers are collecting findings, manipulating and organizing the findings, e.g. as their manuscripts. Thus, researchers have an opportunity to come to scholarly communication before the manuscripts become traditional publications. We call this the pre-publication communication.

Recently we presented our vision of the possible impact of pre-publication communication in a position paper “End of Publication? Open access and a new scholarly communication technology“.

We are looking for partners (organizations or individuals) to explore the pre-publication communication.

We want to find out how useful pre-publication communication is. As the first step, we propose some experiments with SocioRePEc facilities:

1. Competitive selection. The basic pre-publication communication provided by SocioRePEc is public. That means the system allows experiments with creating some elements of competition. Members of the research community can trace the “author”<–>”user” pre-publication communication. Then they compete with the author by offering the user better research results or more efficient solution to her/his research problem.

2. Identification of the “neighbours”. We can think of researchers using research outputs of other researchers as “neighbours” in the global scientific labor division system. Pre-publication communication can help researchers to find out who their neighbours are. This can give the neighbours better collective intelligence. They can interactively adjust and adapt their “supply” and “demand” to get better mutual impact from their direct research cooperation.

3. Exploring challenges. Do researchers appreciate that pre-publication communication is an instrument for identifying problems in and reducing potential issues of the credibility of their work? To shed some light on this question we need some additional qualitative study on how a research culture (formal and informal norms, rules, and motivation) can be developed that can lead researchers to adopt pre-publication scholarly communication.

4. Publication as aggregation. It is also important to find out what could motivate scholars to adopt the idea that the future of research publication is aggregation. Neylon wrote about this: “If we think of publication as the act of bringing a set of things together and providing them with a coherent identity then that publication can be many things with many possible uses” [1]. Possible questions for the experiments are: What kind of forms in general can research outputs usage have in, say, economics? Will researchers agree to share micro research outputs in order to benefit from the pre-publication communication? Under what circumstances could researchers adopt the idea of “publication as aggregation”?

5. Transparency in research. What changes in research practice can initiate global pre-publication scholarly communication between authors and users of research outputs? How can this improve the transparency and credibility of their research findings? Answering these questions will imply some study of, for example, the community of RePEc users. We see them as a pro-active group of scholars open to innovations in the field of global scholarly communication technology.

We rely on grant support, sponsorship and community donations to get started.  Please consider making a donation or support us in another form (email for contacts).

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[1] Neylon, C. The future of research communication is aggregation, Science in the Open Blog, published: 10 April 2010. Available online:  http://cameronneylon.net/blog/the-future-of-research-communication-is-aggregation/


RePEc in August 2016

September 4, 2016

August has always been a period of calm in RePEc, and it was no different this year. We welcomed only three new participating archives: Sociedade Brasileira de Finanças, Groupe Editions Academiques Internationales, University of Navarra (II). We counted 405,701 file downloads and 1,907,803 abstract views. However, a major overhaul of MyIDEAS was completed, and we launched an initiative to significantly increase the coverage of citation analysis at CitEc. Finally, we reached a surprising number of milestones:

150,000,000 cumulative article abstract views
4,000,000 cumulative book chapter abstract views
1,300,000 listed articles
1,250,000 articles available online
500,000 cited articles
750,000 items with extracted and matched references
10,000 indexed blog posts on EconAcademics.org
7,500 indexed serials
500 RePEc-wide h-index (reached a couple of months ago)


A quick MyIDEAS tutorial

August 12, 2016

MyIDEAS has recently been improved, this is a good opportunity to show what it can do and how. This is a personalized service, thus it required credentials, unlike almost everything else in RePEc. We thus thus start with authentication, then look at how to populate one’s MyIDEAS account and then how to use it.

Logging in

Authentication is done through RePEc OpenID, which means that you need to have an account on the RePEc Author Service (but do not need to be an author) and know your RePEc Short-ID. You can find the latter in many ways: in your RePEc Author Service account, on your profile in IDEAS or EconPapers, or by using this look-up tool. See in the images below where the Short-ID pzi1 appears, including the address bar (click on any image to see it larger).

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To log in, you will find a prompt for MyIDEAS almost everywhere on IDEAS, just below the top bar.

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First, provide your RePEc Short-ID

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Then log in with your RePEc Author Service credentials

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Your are now ready. You will be logged out after an hour of inactivity.

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Populating the MyIDEAS account

Go almost anywhere on IDEAS and you will see a button that allows you to save something to your MyIDEAS account. For example, here is a paper abstract page. You have now the option to save this paper, and you can thereby start building a bibliography. We will see later what this looks like in MyIDEAS.

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If you click on the button, you get a confirmation.

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You can also follow serials (working paper series, journals, for example), authors and JEL codes. Following means that whenever you go to your MyIDEAS account, you can see what has been added since the last time.

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You can also follow keyword searches, a new feature. Do a search on IDEAS and add it to you MyIDEAS account. Note that you can refine your search with all the options offered on the advanced search page and they will be saved.

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Using MyIDEAS

We have added a few items to the MyIDEAS account, let us see what we can do with them. Click on MyIDEAS and you get to the MyIDEAS “home”.

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Let us look at the bibliography. By default all additions are put in folder “unassigned”. You can create additional folders and put the items in there.

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Once you go into one of the folders, you can do several things with them, including sharing your folder with others, extracting all references in various formats, moving items to other folders.

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Let us now move to the various thing you follow and start with authors. This tracks anything your followed authors have added to their profile since you added them to MyIDEAS or you refreshed the time stamp. Thus, for those you just added, nothing should be visible. For older ones, this should look like this:

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Note that you can reset the timestamp so that the next time you visit, you will not see these items again. The same principle applies for series and JEL codes:

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For the search keywords, they are no all listed on one single page because that could take a long time to load. You have to elect the keyword from the menu. Otherwise, the functionality of the page is similar.

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End note

MyIDEAS is a relatively new service, so we are looking for ways to improve it. Suggestions are welcome. One that is planned is to allow for email notifications. And finally, there are other ways to keep abreast of what is new in RePEc, including the NEP reports.


RePEc in July 2016

August 2, 2016

What’s new? MyIDEAS has a fresh layout and it is now much easier to add items to it. New functionalities are coming soon, too. The look of the rankings has been refreshed as well, along with more information. And we have started an initiative to increase the proportion of items for which we can perform citation analysis. We have welcomed the following new participating RePEc archives: Bournemouth University, Path of Science, Croatian National Bank, Publishing house “Knowledge and Business” Varna, Instituto Politécnico Nacional. And we counted 394,018 file downloads and 2,291,145 abstract views over the month.

Milestones we reached over the last month:
75,000,000 cumulative abstract views on EconPapers
50,000,000 cumulative working paper downloads
2,100,000 indexed documents
1,200,000 items in author profiles
2,500 journals


When email addresses go stale

July 20, 2016

RePEc sends monthly updates by email to authors, editors, and archive maintainers. The email addresses are taken from the data that is provided by the recipients. If they fail to maintain these addresses when they move, RePEc may not be able to contact them any more. This post describes what happens under such circumstances.

Once an email bounces after the monthly mailing, we put a notice wherever contact information may appear on IDEAS or EconPapers, encouraging readers to provide an alternative email address. While a RePEc administrator can update an email address in an author’s record, for RePEc archives it is more difficult, as the primary metadata lives on the publisher’s site. The relevant series and archive information needs to be updated by the new person in charge. Unfortunately, the new person sometimes was not given instructions on how to do this, and RePEc can be of little help in maintaining information on remote sites, beyond pointing to the instructions that were given to initially build the archive. In any case, if you notice such an “bad email” message on the page of a publisher of yours, you likely know who to contact to get this fixed.

For authors, RePEc can do something. After a few months, we see whether we can change the email, either by searching our contents and the web for an alternative or by contacting recent co-authors. That has helped to keep the proportion of bad emails remarkably low, below 2%, but also means works for the RePEc team that could have been prevented if the authors maintained their contact information. However, you can help RePEc by alerting us. A list of all bad emails is here, and are marked throughout the EconPapers and IDEAS sites. We also appreciate to learn if an author died, so that we can stop trying and immortalize their profile here. Note that authors with a bad email do not count towards the rankings of their institution, the assumption being that this person has either moved or died.

NB: for editors, a bad email may come from either the publisher’s data or from the author profile, or both.


RePEc in June 2016

July 3, 2016

What is new with RePEc? We are looking to constitute a quality-control committee for journals and a tool to annotate PDF papers. Otherwise, this has been a calm month. We logged 437,573 file downloads and 1,886,440 abstract views from participating RePEc services. We welcomed the following new RePEc archives: Journal of Economics Teaching, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Kuehne Logistics University, École Polytechnique de Montréal, National University of Life and Environmental Sciences, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Bilimsel Mektuplar Organizasyonu, National Taiwan University, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, and Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik. Yet, we do not seem to have reached a significant milestone in the past month.


Annotating papers in PDF files

June 25, 2016

The SocioRePEc.org research information system provides free added-value services for RePEc users, including a new tool to annotate RePEc papers in PDF. SocioRePEc also gives enrichment facilities for RePEc authors and some additional daily updated statistics.

Compare with other RePEc services like IDEAS, etc., SocioRePEc currently supports some new use cases:

  1. You can select interesting fragments within PDF papers and store them with your comments as your micro research outputs. You can keep them for your private use only. If you share them publicly, readers of the papers will see them as annotations to papers’ text. See more in the instructions.
    Other RePEc services can freely take the public annotation data from SocioRePEc.
    We continue further development of this tool to enable fragmentation and re-use of research outputs in PDF in new ways [1].
  2. The enrichment facilities allow you to create research relationships between the fragments of papers, annotations, etc. See instruction.We provide an initial taxonomy of the research relationships [2] and continue its development.
  3. The new statistical service gives daily updated pictures of the “production”, the “popularity” and the “usage” activities behind changes of the RePEc data. See more here.
    In particular, an author can see at the personal profile page (example) their the most popular papers for the specified period of time (example), different classes of scientific relationships with their papers (example), and some other statistics.
    Research organisations, for instance, can see at the profile page (example) their the most popular papers by collections (example) or by researchers from its staff (example), scientific relationships, and some other statistics, e.g. with total numbers of their papers by collections and by researchers, etc.We are developing this statistical service to be a “signalling system” for RePEc users [3].

By developing SocioRePEc, the SocioRePEc team proposes to the RePEc community a testbed for experiments with new forms of re-using research papers, with ability to express research relationships between papers, with new ways for scholarly communication [1,2] and with the statistical signalling system [3].

We believe this SocioRePEc approach and technology can bring a new level of transparency in research and can lead to improvements in the scientific standards of rigour and integrity.

The SocioRePEc team invites individuals and organisations to collaboration.

At the moment the project has no funding. We are looking for funding sources and/or a cooperation with other projects. If you can help, please let me know at sparinov@gmail.com.

Please consider making a donation. If you like to be a sponsor of this project, please let us know at admin@sociorepec.org.

[1] SocioRePEc CRIS with an interactive mode of the research outputs usage, (direct link to PDF)

[2] Scholarly Communication in a Semantically Enrichable Research Information System with Embedded Taxonomy of Scientific Relationshipshttp://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-24543-0_7, (direct link to PDF)

[3] Semantic Linkages in Research Information Systems as a New Data Source for Scientometric Studieshttp://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11192-013-1108-3, (direct link to PDF)