RePEc to raise funds through citation boosts

RePEc is a volunteer initiative that is run without any source of revenue. The hosting of RePEc services is provided by sponsors who either pay for this hosting or share part of their infrastructure. Over the history of RePEc, however, there have been circumstances where an emergency situation required finding a quick solution where buying hardware or hosting would have been much more efficient that first seeking a sponsor.

For this reason, RePEc is now introducing a way to generate some funds. One problem is that RePEc will always provide all its services for free, so there is no way to provide some exclusive service for a fee. There is one area where we can help with the most common complaint of authors: they are not sufficiently cited. Authors can help there for free, by adding the full references of articles and papers citing their work. CitEc has a convenient and fairly popular form for that. But if you want a boost beyond that, RePEc now offers a way to buy a higher citation count that will be towards the RePEc rankings.

Specifically, this applies to all ranking criteria that use citation counts, except for the H-Index, and the two criteria that count the number of authors citing someone. You can buy a series of modifiers to the base number that is currently published, call it R. You can increase that base by f. Then you can multiply the sum R+f by p. These two enhancement are valid, by default for one month. But you can increase their validity up to L periods, during which they depreciate linearly. This gives you three citation score enhancements you can buy, f, p, and L.

The actual formula that will be used to determine the new score would then be (after some necessary normalization):

CodeCogsEqn

where:
A is the new score,
pi is the multiplicative boost for period i,
fi is the additive boost for period i,
L is the duration boost,
R is the initial score, and
o=√i.

The price of each boost will be determined each month according to demand. To this effect, interested users need to log into this form during the first 15 days of the month to express interest in buying a number of each of the three boosts. The system then determines a unit price for each and they can purchase the boosts during the rest of the month (including adjusting the numbers) at the same address. Note that it is required to log in during the first 15 days to do a purchase.

The new scores will be used for the rankings, and there will be no visible mark that they have been boosted. Of course, a user can go and count the citations on an author’s profile and compare that to the numbers in the rankings (remember not to count self-citations and multiple versions of the same work). The new scores will also count towards the affiliations.

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