Who is the typical RePEc user?

January 17, 2017

This answer is not that easy to answer, as using RePEc services typically does not require any registration. Still, some services use Google Analytics, which provides some elementary statistics about users, but nothing about demographics. Below are some of what we can learn by looking at the Google Analytics for IDEAS for 2016. This may or may not apply to other RePEc services.

First, one can learn a few things from the browser that is used. 53% of users have it set to use US-English, 8% British English, 4% each for Spanish and Chinese, and 3% each for French and German. This language variable, however, does not correlate perfectly with the location. Indeed, only 18% of users are in the United States, the next most frequent countries being the United Kingdom (7%), India (7%), Germany (4%), Italy, France, Canada, China (all 3%), and then with 2% Australia, the Philippines, Kenya, Colombia, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia. This wide distribution is actually quite encouraging, as the goal of RePEc is to democratize the access to research, and getting “non-traditional” countries to adopt RePEc services this well is a good sign. In particular, Africa represents 9% of the traffic, South Asia 10%, Southeast Asia 7% and South America 6%. And yes, there is traffic from North Korea.

What about browsers? Chrome is the clear winner, at 55%. Next come Firefox (14%), Safari (13%), Internet Explorer (8%), Opera Mini (3%) and Edge (2%). In terms of operating systems, Windows is first at 66% (of which 53% is Windows 7, 27% Windows 10, and 13% on Windows 8.1), then 14% on Macintosh, 10% Android, 6% iOS, and 1% Linux. It is clear from this that desktop use is still predominant (81%), while 16% use a mobile phone and only 3% a tablet.

Where is traffic originating? Most of it comes from search engines (76%), while 15% of traffic is referred from another website. 8% of traffic is direct, meaning from bookmarks or by typing the URL in the browser. 1% is coming from social media.

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RePEc in December 2016, and a look back at 2016

January 5, 2017

We have two new features to announce this month: First, our directory of economics institutions, EDIRC got a face lift that includes much better viewing on mobile devices. Second, we have a new ranking for authors, the Euclidian measure of citations, following the article of Perry and Reny. Also, we counted 425,384 file downloads and 2,082,757 abstract views for the RePEc services reporting these statistics. Last month, we welcomed the following new RePEc archives: ERINA, University College Dublin (III), Dickinson College, UNESCAP (II), University College Algebra, Università Bocconi (II), Union of Scientists (Varna). Finally, we reached the following milestones:

10,000,000 matched citations
1,250,000 items in registered author profiles
1,000,000 paper announcements through NEP
900,000 articles with abstracts
800,000 items with extracted references
750,000 indexed working papers
400,000 working papers with extracted references
15,000 links to RePEc items on EconAcademics

As for 2016, what have we achieved? In terms of RePEc services, MyIDEAS received a complete overhaul with new features, CitEc is making a big push to expand the coverage of citation extraction and added an API, and SocioRePEc made available a series of tools for authors. In terms of content, RePEc now indexes 240,000 more items, a growth of 12%, in part thanks to 80 new RePEc archives, 200 new working paper series and 292 new journals, CitEc extracted the references of 140,000 more items, a growth of 20%, and 2,800 more authors are registered with the RePEc Author Service, a growth of 6%. We counted 5,610,593 downloads and 25,928,965 abstract views, an increase over last year which reverses a decline in traffic that lasted several years.

Next year is going to be important for RePEc andwe hope to have more positive news.