IDEAS just turned 20. Launched in September 1997 on a web server sponsored by Université du Québec à Montréal and adapted from scripts written for WoPEc by José Manuel Barrueco Cruz (who is now in charge of citation analysis at CitEc), the site initially displayed 40,000 papers and articles. Now, there are sixty times more documents. A screen shot from the early days is below.
In 2002, IDEAS moved to the University of Connecticut, followed by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, where it is still hosted. Over time, the site served 3.6 billion pages, although the vast majority where requested by web spiders for the major search engines and some page skimmers (who should really use the API). Once all this robotic access is cleared, the abstract pages alone where read almost 300 million times (or an average of 120 times for each listed item) and 70 million downloads were recorded (or an average of 31 times for each document available for download).
A few dates relevant for the history of IDEAS:
- September 1997: IDEAS opens for business at the Université du Québec à Montréal
- June 1998: the first ranking is published, covering abstract views for items and serials
- August 2000: the first author ranking
- February 2001: the first institution ranking
- October 2002: IDEAS is now at the University of Connecticut
- June 2011: IDEAS moves to the St. Louis Fed
- January 2013: MyIDEAS is available
- December 2014: IDEAS becomes mobile friendly