RePEc in January 2022

February 9, 2022

With the new year, LogEc had to amend the method it uses to count legitimate human traffic on RePEc sites. Thus the 447,566 file downloads and 1,745,403 abstract views in counted during the last month cannot be compared to previous months. The change is described in a separate post. We also reached the following milestones

2,500,000 online journal articles
900,000 online working papers
80,000 NEP report issues

Methodological changes to LogEc data

February 7, 2022

LogEc is the RePEc project that consolidates usage statistics from several RePEc services. It provides publishers and authors some insight into how popular their works are with RePEc users. The participating RePEc services are EconPapers, IDEAS, NEP, and Socionet.

The idea of LogEc is to measure human traffic, not traffic from robots, spiders, or other manipulations. Typically, over 90% has been thrown away as not considered human, using a variety of controls, both scripted and manual. A continuous increase in robotic traffic has made it more and more difficult to handle the separation of good and bad use of the sites. In recent months, it has been especially worrisome that several DDOS attacks have taken place on some of the sites, leading to sub-optimal service from the servers, and an even larger share of robotic traffic. Note also that web scrapers do not need to get the RePEc data that way, as it is already freely available through various means described here.

In light of these problems and the workload on the volunteers they generate, we have changed the way legitimate traffic is counted. The new approach leads to lower final numbers that, while likely eliminating some legitimate human traffic, gives a better picture of human traffic. The approach is used uniformly across all the data, thus we do not believe this introduces any bias. But one consequence dear to any of users familiar to time series: From January 2022, the numbers will not be comparable to the numbers until December 2021.

Link to a RePEc page, not directly to the full text

February 5, 2022

Say you mention economic research in an online essay, social media, or your web page. You want to provide a link to that research. We want to argue that you should not link to the full text (pdf file or even publisher abstract page), but rather to the abstract page on a RePEc service such as EconPapers or IDEAS. Here is why.

RePEc URLs are stable. Publishers may reorganize their website or change URLs. In some cases the URL you see is personalized and invalid for other users. But RePEc URLs almost never change, and in the very rare cases where they do, a redirection is present. Thus, you do not need to verify that the link is still valid in the future.

RePEc offers alternative versions. Say you link to a journal article that is behind a paywall that your readers cannot pass. Often RePEc proposes alternative versions such as working papers that may not be the final version, but at least your readers have something to use. Or if you link to a working paper, RePEc will offer a link to the corresponding journal article once it is published.

RePEc offers context. A RePEc abstract page offer additional links to the author profiles, cited works, works citing that research (with a count to show impact), and more. While some publishers also offer such context, it is limited to their own publications. RePEc encompasses all of economics.