When an email address goes bad

Authors register with the RePEc Author Service using their email address, which serves as a user name. That email address is also used by the service to alert them about new potential works to add to their profile and to send them monthly statistics. Occasionally, some of these emails bounce back to the service: the mailbox is full, or the address has become obsolete. What happens now?

First, EconPapers and IDEAS add a mention to the author profile page encouraging users to supply a new email address to the RePEc Author Service. IDEAS also publishes the complete list of lost authors.

Second, lost authors are considered without affiliation for ranking purposes. Indeed, a major reason why an email address goes bad is that the author has moved, in which case the affiliation is likely obsolete. Another reason may be that the author has died, in which case having an affiliation make no sense.

Third, once the email address has remained bad for a second month, the administrator of the RePEc Author Service goes fishing for a better one. This involves Internet searches, asking co-authors and former colleagues. This is repeated later if necessary.

These efforts have allowed to keep the number of lost authors remarkably low: currently 273, or 0.8% of all registered authors. To this, add 152 authors who are known to be deceased. The records of the latter continue to be maintained by volunteers, as research may still be added posthumously, or new archives may still join with works written by these scholars.

We appreciate any help in tracing lost authors, notifications about deceased authors and support in maintaining their profiles. Simply email the administrator of the RePEc Author Service.

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