Contacting RePEc: update

April 28, 2008

Following reconfiguration of RePEc’s email services, we now have reinstated the address repec at Please use that address to contact the RePEc team.

RePEc Input Service

April 27, 2008

We inaugurate today the RePEc Input Service. As we detailed recently, bibliographic data is made available to RePEc on the publishers’ own ftp or web servers. Unfortunately, this is not possible in some cases, either because of web publishing policies or for technical reasons (in many cases forbidding the serving of files with an .rdf extension).

The RePEc Input Service is meant to be a service of last resort. Indeed, the principle of RePEc is that publishers are in charge of the maintenance of their own bibliographic metadata. This new service violates this in the sense that a RePEc volunteer has to maintain and host it. At this point, it can host only data about working paper series, but other document types are planned.

The scripts for the RePEc Input Service were written by Sune Karlsson. It is hosted by Christian Zimmermann at the University of Connecticut.

Volunteer recognition: Sune Karlsson

April 19, 2008

Sune Karlsson is currently Professor of Statistics at the Swedish Business School of Örebro University. He has been involved with RePEc, as a co-founder, right from the start and is an essential part of the RePEc team, providing a large numbers of services and great expertise.

While at the Stockholm School of Economics, Sune inaugurated in 1997 S-WoPEc, the Swedish (now Scandinavian) Working Papers in Economics site. S-WoPEc was one of the founding archives of RePEc in June 1997. In 1998, he then created S-WoBA, the Swedish (now Scandinavian) Working Papers in Business Administration site. Together, S-WoPEc and S-WoBA now hold about 5,400 papers. He manages also the working paper site of the European Business Schools Librarians’ Group.

In May 2001, Sune created LogEc, which compiles usage statistics for the various RePEc services and displays them. Two months later, he added EconPapers to his portfolio, now the second most popular service displaying the data collected by RePEc.

Sune does also a lot of behind-the-scene work: a syntax checker for RePEc archive maintainers, which includes a URL checker also used for the NEP project (for which he also provided the first implementation script). He runs also the scripts that allow to recognize the different versions of the same work. Finally, he is the editor of the NEP report on Econometrics.

Without Sune’s many initiatives and his master programming skills, RePEc would not be at the point it is today.

RePEc sponsors

April 13, 2008

Given that RePEc has no revenue, it relies on the goodwill of volunteers to run. But this work is not possible without support from some sponsors that are will share some resources for this good cause. Here is an attempt to acknowledge these sponsors.

Past sponsors included: Hitotsubashi University, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), University of Manchester Computing Centre (MIDAS), Open Society Institute, Université du Québec à Montréal, Stockholm School of Economics.

Cheating and RePEc

April 6, 2008

This posts details how RePEc can be and has been useful in detecting cheating, and how RePEc is dealing with this unfortunate phenomenon.

Plagiarism by authors

RePEc facilitates the availability of research and thus makes it available to would be plagiarists, but RePEc also facilitates the detection of such plagiarism, either directly through RePEc services like EconPapers and IDEAS, or indirectly as other services like Google or Yahoo use RePEc to populate their search engines. While it is not part of its mission, RePEc has on occasion been assisting plagiarized authors to obtain redress, resulting in at least one dismissal from graduate school among the several caught authors.

Plagiarism by publishers

Yes, publishers can also plagiarize, namely by publishing without authorization from authors. Quite obviously, RePEc is tailor-made for detecting such abuse. Unfortunately, there is little that RePEc can do to punish such publishers, except unlisting them. This has happened so far for one publisher, and another one is currently on probation.

Manipulating author profiles

Given that RePEc provides author rankings, there are incentive to inflate one’s résumé with works of others. The logs of the RePEc Author Service are monitored on a regular basis. Any inappropriate claim is then flagged, and the misbehaving author may face a warning or even an exclusion, depending on circumstances. Honest mistakes may happen, but willful manipulation is not tolerated.

Manipulating statistics

Another way to improve rankings is to inflate download ans abstract views statistics. Fortunately, LogEc uses a series of filters, among others removing multiple downloads from the same IP address clusters, looks for various suspicious download patterns as well as a visual audit. Suspicious activity leads usually to the reset the relevant statistics to zero with a warning, an exclusion being the the consequence for a repeat offender. So far, one author has been excluded and several warned.

RePEc in March 2008

April 1, 2008

March is typically a month where all traffic records are beaten on RePEc. Well not this month, but we were close: 694,988 file downloads (less than 3,000 short of the record) and 2,675,511 abstract views (record). The fact that Easter fell in March this year probably has something to do with this. We can thus look forward to a glorious month of April! But we should not be too disappointed, as there is now a RePEc application on Facebook. Look for a big blue letter “R” in the applications menu of your Facebook account.

An uncharacteristically low number of new RePEc archives opened last month, four: Princeton University Press, the Department of Economics at University of Auckland, the Department of University of Malaga, and the Institute of Local Public Finance, Germany. As for the thresholds passed during the last month, we have:

6,000,000 cumulated downloads through EconPapers

3,000,000 references extracted

1,250,000 citations found

175,000 online working papers

140,000 items with references

100,000 cited articles

2,000 listed book chapters