RePEc is independent and cannot be bought

May 17, 2016

In light of today’s announcement that Elsevier has bought SSRN, we take the opportunity to clarify whether this could happen to RePEc. The short answer is: no, this is impossible. The long answer is below.

The objective of RePEc is not not maximize profit or monetary value. It is to maximize global welfare, to use terminology from economics, by enhancing the dissemination of economic research for the publishers, the authors and the readers. The democratization of dissemination is a crucial part of our mission. Hence, RePEc was designed to run at extremely low cost, hence making it possible to make all services available for free. RePEc uses volunteer work and sponsorship for hardware, hosting and bandwidth. Volunteers and sponsors are willing to participate because of this mission. This means in particular that RePEc has no revenue. Thus it is unlikely a takeover target.

Furthermore, RePEc is actually just a set of principles of how to organize metadata about publications in economics. The participating publishers simply adhere to those principles to get their metadata included in RePEc. Anybody can come and use this data to create a service that does something with the RePEc data. There is nothing that could be bought, as all the data is actually put in the public domain. One could create a RePEc service that generates revenue. This would be against the principle of RePEc, and nobody can prevent somebody else to create a free RePEc service that does the same. Thus it is unlikely to happen. And in any case, this would still not mean a takeover of RePEc.

We care about our community of users and are here to serve them. RePEc is there to stay, and stay independent and free.

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RePEc in April 2016

May 5, 2016

A new feature has been added this month. We now have a sandbox where users can customize the aggregate ranking of serials, like it has already been possible for authors and institutions. We welcomed a few new institutions that contribute their publications to RePEc: Universidad del Pacífico, Kirklareli Üniversitesi, Ministerio Italiano dello Sviluppo Economico, Korea Development Institute, Institute for New Economic Thinking. We counted 526,639 file downloads and 2,569,501 abstract views on EconPapers, IDEAS, NEP and Socionet, the RePEc services that share such statistics. And finally, we reached the following milestones:

360,000,000 cumulated abstract views
6,000,000 cumulated software component abstract views
1,250,000 articles
1,200,000 articles with download
800,000 cited items
800,000 articles with abstracts
300,000 cited working papers
300,000 new working papers disseminated through NEP
60,000 people registered with the RePEc Author Service
10,000 items mentioned in a blog post indexed at EconAcademics