Improving metadata

May 21, 2010

The bibliographic data used by RePEc services can only be as good as what publishers provide. While a post last month discussed how to improve citation coverage, the present one gives some advice to RePEc archive maintainers on how to improve their metadata to optimize their use in RePEc services. For starters, here is how a well formed RePEc template would look like:

Template-Type: ReDIF-Paper 1.0
Author-Name: Daniel Rais
Author-Name: Peter Lawater
Author-Workplace-Name: Department of Economics, Grandiose University
Author-Name: Jonathan Goldman
Author-Workplace-Name: Department of Finance, Grandiose University
Author-Name: Zhiwei Chui
Title: Phases of Imitation and Innovation in a North-South Endogenous Growth Model
Abstract: In this paper, we develop a North-South endogenous growth model to examine three phases of development in the South: imitation of Northern products, imitation and innovation and finally, innovation only. In particular, the model has the features of catching up (and potentially overtaking) which are of particular relevance to the Pacific Rim economies. We show that the possible equilibria depend on cross-country assimilation effects and the ease of imitation. We then apply the model to analyze the impact of R&D subsidies. There are some clear global policy implications which emerge from our analysis. Firstly, because subsidies to Southern innovation benefit the North as well, it is beneficial to the North to pay for some of these subsidies. Secondly, because the ability of the South to assimilate Northern knowledge and innovate depends on Southern skills levels, the consequent spillover benefits on growth make the subsidizing of Southern education by the North particularly attractive.
Length: 26 pages
Creation-Date: 1996-07
Revision-Date: 1998-01
Publication-Status: Published in Review of Economics, March 1999, pages 1-23
File-Format: Application/pdf
File-Function: First version, 1996
File-Format: Application/pdf
File-Function: Revised version, 1998
Number: 9602
Classification-JEL: E32, R10
Keywords: North-South, growth model, innovation assimilation
Handle: RePEc:aaa:wpaper:9602

This is just an example, and there are more fields that can be used. See the step-by-step instructions for opening a RePEc archive for much more details. But let me point out a few recommendations:

  1. The more fields are filled, the better it is. But these fields must be legal, as defined in the documentation, or the entire template is rejected.
  2. One put information relevant to a field. For example, there should be no affiliation in the Author-Name:, or no paper number in Title:.
  3. The Author-Name field should contain only one author. Repeat the field for multiple authors! This is important, other wise we have difficulties attributing papers to authors on the RePEc Author Service.
  4. If there are multiple versions of a paper within the same series, repeat the File-* block as in the example above instead of creating a new tempate.
  5. Handle is a unique identifier that should not be changed, and in particular that should not be recycled. The latter point is very important, as handles provide links between papers, authors, references, citations, statistics, etc. Handle recycling introduces errors that are very, very cumbersome to correct.
  6. Do not confuse fields. Too often, an abstract is put in Title:.
  7. If you are not sure, check your template here.
  8. And check your monthly emails for any errors we may have detected, or check your archive here. There is even a URL checker to help your work!

RePEc is not a spider

May 13, 2010

We frequently get requests for inclusions in RePEc, and often these are complaints that some papers on a university department web page or a personal home page are not being picked up. RePEc is not Google. RePEc does not have a web spider that wanders the web and looks for research in Economics. I do not even think it would be possible to do so, as identifying research and Economics on an automatic basis is very difficult.

Material listed on RePEc is submitted, either by about 1200 participating archives, that each have followed our instructions, or by authors themselves at the Munich Personal RePEc Archive (MPRA). No need to send us links or papers. Just make sure your publisher participates, and if not upload your papers at MPRA (what you can in general also do for published material, see this previous blog entry).

And if you are really interested in a web spider for Economics, there is the Economic Search Engine (ESE), which uses in part RePEc data to search and index the subset of the web most likely related to Economics.

RePEc in April 2010

May 5, 2010

April has been a memorable month, with close to 40,000 works newly indexed. We thus reached 900,000 index works, of which 750,000 are online. Also, we have now counted 200 millions abstract views since the start of the project, a highly filtered number as the raw count before removing multiple views, robots and other “illegal” activity is four times that.

The 13 new archives that joined RePEc in April were: Chapman University, Africa Growth Institute, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (II), Programme National Persée, United Nations Development Programme, University of Winnipeg, University of Valencia (III), Leuphana University Lüneburg, Revista de Economía Crítica, Università Roma 1 (III), University of California-Davis, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Perú, Università Roma 2 (II).

And, finally, we reached an impressive list of thresholds during the month:
200,000,000 cumulative abstract views
900,000 listed works
750,000 listed online works
500,000 abstracts
24,000 registered authors
3,000 online books