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!


RePEc in February 2020

March 6, 2020

Another good month in terms of traffic to reporting RePEc services: 459,113 file downloads and 2,282,794 abstract views. Welcomed a few more archives: Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Entrepreneur’s Guide, Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi Hryhorii Skovoroda State Pedagogical University, University College London. And we reached a few more milestones:

2,000,000 indexed articles available online
1,500,000 indexed articles with abstracts
1,250,000 cited items
1,200,000 items with references
800,000 cited articles


NEP: The working paper dissemination service of RePEc

March 1, 2020

The central mission of RePEc is to enhance the dissemination of research in Economics. Various RePEc services take this to heart in various ways, and today we have a look at NEP (New Economics Papers). This service disseminates new working papers through email, RSS feeds and Twitter. As everything in RePEc this is a free service run by volunteers that currently manages about 80,000 email subscriptions, 20,000 Twitter followers and an unknown number of RSS subscribers.

NEP has currently close to 100 email lists, each handling new papers for a particular sub-field of Economics. Every week, the volunteer editors receive a list of about 1000 new working papers ordered by relevance by an expert system following editors’ past choices. Editors then look over this list and select the working papers that they deem most relevant to their field. They are then sent to subscribers. Only working papers are considered. Indeed, they are at the frontier of research and thus can be considered new research. Publications in journals may lag by several years and are thus not considered.

The classification of new research by NEP field is also used to categorize researchers for various purposes, including rankings (economists and their institutions) and research on the Economics profession.

NEP is open to the creation of new reports and encourages volunteer editors to step forward and contact Marco Novarese, Università del Piemonte Orientale in Italy. Technical aspects of NEP are managed by Thomas Krichel. Hosting for NEP is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand. Development is funded by small and infrequent advertisements on the NEP emails.