How to improve citation coverage in RePEc

April 28, 2010

One aspect of RePEc that has grown in importance over the last years is its citations analysis, provided by the CitEc project, in particular due to their use in rankings. Citations extractions is a complex process. First, one needs to be able to access texts and find where references are (see details), then one needs to be able to interpret those references and match them with some work already listed in RePEc (see details). At this time, 5,400,000 references could be extracted from 240,000 works, with 2,300,000 matched to an item listed in RePEc. While these numbers may sound impressive, it still means that only about a third of online texts could be parsed successfully. To improve on this we rely on the RePEc archive maintainers to help us do a better job. Here is some advice in this regard that they should heed, as any linked reference allows links back and forth between the citing and cited works, thus increasing visibility.

  1. Check out how successful CitEc is in extracting references from your series and journals. Maintainers receive every months statistics about coverage that they can monitor. In addition, they can look up on CitEc the reasons why some items were not processed. For the series with the best coverage, see here.
  2. Make sure links in the metadata go directly to a pdf file, and not to an intermediate abstract page. CitEc does not go further than the link that is provided to it. If you really want the abstract page present in the metadata, provide it as a second link.
  3. Make sure that CitEc is actually allowed to get to the pdf. If the pdfs are gated, consider allowing CitEc to access with its IP, which will be provided upon request.
  4. The above are not possible, or if for some other reason references cannot be parsed, one can also transfer references to CitEc by using the X-File-Ref construct in the metadata, as described here.
  5. For larger archives, an alternative way of transferring references can be arranged.
  6. Also, CitEc sometimes grabs too many references. This happens for working papers when a list of other papers in the series is appended. This is also a waste of paper. We strongly recommend not to have such lists and, where they are present, to alert CitEc so that these errors can be remedied.

Any request should be send to José Manuel Barrueco, who is in charge of the CitEc project.

Volunteer appreciation: Christian Calmès

April 19, 2010

RePEc relies completely on volunteer work, and some of them do work that is invisible from the outside. One of those is Christian Calmès, Associate Professor of Economics at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (Canada) and the “enforcer” on NEP. NEP is a collection of mailing lists that distribute announcements of new working papers in currently 87 fields. Those announcements are vetted by volunteers editors, who decide which papers are relevant for their fields. Subscribers expect to receive timely messages about once a week, and Calmès makes sure editors do their job. If necessary, he relieves them of their duties (after some warning). On occasion, this has meant that he had to take over managing a list, in the absence of an available volunteer. Currently, he manages NEP-BEC (Business Economics), NEP-BAN (Banking) and NEP-REG (Regulation).

Using RePEc as a search tool

April 11, 2010

Different people experience RePEc through its different uses, sometimes without being aware of its other uses. The purpose of this post is to highlight the use of RePEc services for bibliographic searches.

Currently, there are three different websites that offer bibliographic searches based on the data collected by RePEc: EconPapers, IDEAS and EconomistsOnline. Why use them instead of simply Google or Google Scholar? First, RePEc services allow fielded search: given the structure of the underlying metadata, it is possible to separate search results by authors, topical area, date, publication type and other attributes. EconomistOnline goes here the furthest, by allowing to narrow result sets successively according to various criteria. Second, the database and the search engines are updated as soon as publishers post new material, thus search results always reflect current holdings. Finally, as RePEc is not a spider, rather a catalog indexed directly by publishers, contents are known to be related to research in Economics. Thus, there are no irrelevant search results.

In addition, there are plug-ins available for most popular browsers both EconPapers and IDEAS. They allow to search RePEc directly from the search bar in a browser.

RePEc in March 2010

April 3, 2010

Last month, participating RePEc services counted 1,001,805 file downloads and 3,425,056 abstract views. Yes, for the first time, we have over a million downloads within a month. This was achieved with record traffic at IDEAS and NEP. In particular, there have been now 150 million abstract views on IDEAS since this was counted.

We have welcomed 16 new archives: Competition Policy International, University of Maribor, Czech Econometric Society, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EduSoft Publishing, Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program, Polish Ministry of Finance, European Research Studies Journal, Feng Chia University, Osteuropa-Institut, Università Sapienza (II), Temple University, Université de Poitiers, Associazione Paolo Sylos Labini, St. Petersburg State University, Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency.

Finally, these are the thresholds we passed last month:
1,000,000 monthly downloads
500,000 items claimed in author profiles
450,000 online articles listed
12,000 book chapters listed
7,000 books listed
2,500 online books listed