RePEc seeks to enhance the dissemination of economics research. There are many ways to do this, and an important one is to provide search engines for literature searches. This post discusses two on them. Searching on RePEc provides many advantages over searching with your favorite web search engine: search are naturally limited to academic economics content and can be configured in many ways because RePEc has much more detailed information.
EconPapers is a popular site that allows to discover all RePEc content through browsing or searching. The advanced search page highlights all the fields that can be used to narrow the search: date, field (through JEL code), document type, online availability, and language. One can differentiate the search terms across author, keyword, and abstract fields. Boolean searches with logical operators are available and wild cards can be used on word stems. It is also possible to search within NEP reports if one is looking for a working paper within a specific field. A help page provide further hints and tricks for an efficient search.
EconPapers displays search results in a convenient way, showing the listing in a box and one can click on individual items to see the full content. Results can be sorted by date, relevance, or alphabetically by title.
IDEAS is another popular site with functionalities similar to EconPapers. Its search engine was recently improved. It offers similar fielded search with a few tricks that differentiate it from EconPapers. For example, word stemming is algorithmic, thus wildcards are not needed. Synonyms are used natively, reducing the need to think about them. One can search for AuthorOne AuthorTwo (Year), the typical way one cites in economics, and a match will most likely be displayed. A search from the listing of a journal of a working paper series limits the results to that serials. The same feature is available for JEL codes. The search page also offers separate searches for other item types in RePEc, such as registered authors and institutions.
Search results can be sorted by citation counts or a combination of criteria. In addition, on can save a search to MyIDEAS, which allows to go back to it easily later or get weekly email alerts about new search results. Individual search results can also be saved to one’s personal MyIDEAS bibliography with one click.