Upcoming changes to rankings

March 26, 2012

The RePEc rankings are among the most visited pages of any RePEc service. While most of those rankings are still experimental and in some cases quite volatile (mostly due to incomplete citation data and not everyone being registered), they have proven to be extremely popular in the profession. While it is generally a bad idea to change definitions in the computation of rankings, sometimes there are good reasons to make adjustments or include more information. Two such changes will happen starting with the next release early April.

User-supplied weights for multiple affiliations

Authors with multiple affiliations currently have their scores distributed across affiliations for institutional rankings. The same applies across the geographic regions associated to each affiliation for the author rankings within regions. This is not going to change. But now that authors can set these weights themselves, author-supplied ones will be used if present. If not, the weights will continue to to be determined according to a formula that is supposed to determine the likelihood of a particular affiliation being the main one. In short: if you have multiple affiliations, set the weights yourself and the rankings will now take it into account.

Two new criteria for authors

The two rankings provided by CollEc, which measure how central an author is in Economics by looking at co-authorship networks, are going to be included for authors. As this concept is not well defined for institutions and regions, it will not be applied for those rankings. As the CollEc rankings change daily, a snapshot will be taken every month the day the new general rankings are produced. As not everyone can be ranked (see blog post for explanation), the unlisted will be ranked just below the last ranked author. These two new rankings will provide even more diversification to the ranking criteria.

Wikipedia and RePEc

March 19, 2012

Wikipedia is a well known crowd-sourced encyclopedia. It has an incredible wealth of knowledge which is often backed up by appropriate citations. Those citations may lead to material listed on RePEc. In fact, Wikipedia is currently the most important referrer to IDEAS (excluding search engines) and there are currently 1516 links to IDEAS and EconPapers, mainly on Wikipedia, and also on a few other projects, like Wikibooks, Wikiversity and Wiktionary. This number is gathered from the 57 languages with the most pages on Wikipedia. Of the 1524, 1363 resolve to author, book, article, chapter, software component or paper pages on IDEAS or EconPapers. The rest are mostly to service portals or to rankings.

The fact that a paper is mentioned in Wikipedia is not unlike a citation. Hence, IDEAS now links back to the appropriate Wikipedia page whenever possible. This can be found on the “lists” subfield on every IDEAS page. And for those curious about the distribution by language for the back-links: English 574, German 165, Spanish 83, Norwegian 48, French 48, Japanese 44, Bulgarian 41, Turkish 36.

A new RePEc service: CollEc

March 11, 2012

A new RePEc service is now on-line, CollEc. The main goal of this initiative is to analyze co-authorship networks within Economics. To this end, it collects all the authorship data from the RePEc Author Service and computes the shortest path through co-authorship relationships between any two registered economists. From all this data, two “features” are computed.

First, a closeness and a betweenness score is computed for every economist. Closeness measure how close one is with everyone else. Betweenness measures how frequently shortest paths have a particular economist as a node. Of course, economists can be ranked according to both criteria.

Second, the website allows to display the shortest paths between any two economists, and one can be surprised at how short they often are. To play with this, either navigate the lists on CollEc or find the direct link to an author’s page on IDEAS (author profile, under “statistics”), then enter the name of another author.

Note that only authors registered with RePEc are considered. Also, not every registered author is part of this global network of co-authorship. For example, an author without a (registered) co-author is excluded. Also, an economist at the end of a path cannot have a betweenness score, mostly likely someone with a single (registered) co-author.

RePEc in February 2012

March 2, 2012

The big news this month are the release of an upgrade of the RePEc Author Service and the new layouts of IDEAS and EDIRC. We hope this will improve the satisfaction of our many users, who were responsible for 642,216 file downloads and 2,276,448 abstract views. This leads us to the next big news: since the start, a quarter billion abstract views have been counted by the statistics-reporting RePEc services.

We also want to welcome the following new participating archives: International School for Social and Business Studies (Slovenia), University of Warwick (III), Università di Roma La Sapienza (IX), University of Toronto (III), Copernicus University in Torun (Poland), Columbia University (II), Banco Central de la Republica Argentina, Auckland University of Technology, Université d’Aix-Marseille, and St. Olaf College.

Finally, we have reached the following thresholds, and the list is long:
250000000 cumulative abstract views
25000000 cumulative article downloads
7500000 references extracted from documents
3000000 references matched with documents in RePEc
750000 item abstracts
250000 JEL coded items
200000 JEL coded papers
70000 NEP subscriptions
12500 listed institutions
10000 book abstracts
1400 participating archives