Institutional metadata in RePEc: the EDIRC project

March 30, 2021

RePEc disseminates metadata about publications in economics as well as about their authors. This data is then leveraged by various so-called RePEc services that make that data available to the public in various forms. Any element in this data has a unique and permanent identifier, the RePEc handle, that allows to link an article to its journal and authors, for example, as well as to its citations. Each have a handle.

EDIRC is a project started in 1995 that catalogs institutions that primarily employ economists: these are mostly academic departments, but also includes think tanks, policy institutions (central banks, ministries, regulators), international organization, and research centers. A listing of economics associations and societies is also provided. Each of those entities is assigned a RePEc handle and this handle can thus be used in RePEc to associate items to these institutions. These handles always start with RePEc:edi:, followed by seven letter or digits, the last two reserved for the country.

The major user of this data is the RePEc Author Service, which leverages it to assign affiliations to the registered authors. The author metadata then includes the handles of the relevant institutions, which the RePEc services then can use to display author profiles. The RePEc Genealogy does the same to identify where economists received their terminal degree from. RePEc archives, the providers of the bibliographic data in RePEc, can also include institutional handles in the data about their series and journals.

There may be still other uses of this data, such as using the institutional data for ranking purposes. But the ones described above feed back to EDIRC. Indeed, institutional entries on EDIRC may show a listing of their members registered with the author service, their alumni shown in the genealogy, and the publications indexed in RePEc. All in all, close to 15,000 institutions are indexed in EDIRC, with well over half having some metadata from another RePEc service.

RePEc in February 2021

March 6, 2021

We had an excellent month in terms of traffic, with 536,984 file downloads and 3,066,371 abstract views in this short month. We also welcomed International Research Association for Sustainable Development, xKDR, and the Italian Finance Ministry as new RePEc archives. As a new feature, IDEAS introduced a “most related” tab on many abstract pages. And we reached the following milestones:

250,000,000 abstract views for working papers
100,000 indexed book chapters.
200 topics listed on RePEc Biblio

How to get your work listed on RePEc

March 4, 2021

RePEc has grown to a huge bibliographic database of Economics, now with over 3.4 million works listed. How has all this been indexed. More importantly, how can you get your research output listed on the popular RePEc sites and dissemination services? There are fundamentally two ways: through your institution or individually.

The institutional way

Any institution or publisher (academic, policy org., think tank, commercial, etc.) can open a so-called RePEc archive that contains information about their publications and links to where they can be found. This is in the form of plain text files that are hosted on the institution’s public site (ftp, http or https) and are regularly queried by RePEc services. These files need to follow a specific structure and syntax to be machine-readable. There are currently over 2000 such archives, and they all followed the same instructions. Note that there are some aggregators that follow different rules but forward their data to RePEc: S-WoPEc and S-WoBA in Scandinavia, Dotec in Colombia, EconStor in Germany, HAL in France, Cyberleninka in Russia, and AgEcon Search for Agricultural Economics.

We have a few RePEc archives that lie dormant, usually because the person in charge left without providing instructions. If this is the case for yours, there is help. Start with these instructions.

Note also that if you expect your work to be listed in an existing archive, but it is not, EconPapers and IDEAS list a technical contact for the particular series or journal who should be able to take care of corrections.

The individual way

The vast majority (97.8%) of the RePEc material is indexed by institutions. But for the economists working at a place that does not participate, there are several options that all require that you upload your paper. There is typically also a cursory editorial review conducted by each service, checking that the input data is correct, that the work is indeed academic and within topic, and that they is no copyright issues. Note that the uploaded work does not necessarily need to be recent. It can complement an article that is under fee-gated access or not indexed in RePEc at all. Note also that what you upload will always be considered as a working paper. Only the journal publisher can index articles in RePEc.

Here are services that accept uploads and will index in RePEc if appropriate. They are listed in the order of the number of indexed papers.

  1. Munich Personal RePEc Archive (MPRA), sponsored by the Library of the University of Munich (Germany). If your paper is not in English, French or German, this is your only option.
  2. HAL caters to French researchers. Economics content is relayed to RePEc
  3. ArXiv has sections for a few economic fields. Attention should be paid to the submission process.
  4. The Open Science Foundation has a pre-print services and several topical archives (in particular SocArXiv). Works within economics are indexed in RePEc.
  5. EconStor, sponsored by the German Library for Economics (ZBW) accepts also papers in German.