RePEc in August 2016

September 4, 2016

August has always been a period of calm in RePEc, and it was no different this year. We welcomed only three new participating archives: Sociedade Brasileira de Finanças, Groupe Editions Academiques Internationales, University of Navarra (II). We counted 405,701 file downloads and 1,907,803 abstract views. However, a major overhaul of MyIDEAS was completed, and we launched an initiative to significantly increase the coverage of citation analysis at CitEc. Finally, we reached a surprising number of milestones:

150,000,000 cumulative article abstract views
4,000,000 cumulative book chapter abstract views
1,300,000 listed articles
1,250,000 articles available online
500,000 cited articles
750,000 items with extracted and matched references
10,000 indexed blog posts on EconAcademics.org
7,500 indexed serials
500 RePEc-wide h-index (reached a couple of months ago)


A quick MyIDEAS tutorial

August 12, 2016

MyIDEAS has recently been improved, this is a good opportunity to show what it can do and how. This is a personalized service, thus it required credentials, unlike almost everything else in RePEc. We thus thus start with authentication, then look at how to populate one’s MyIDEAS account and then how to use it.

Logging in

Authentication is done through RePEc OpenID, which means that you need to have an account on the RePEc Author Service (but do not need to be an author) and know your RePEc Short-ID. You can find the latter in many ways: in your RePEc Author Service account, on your profile in IDEAS or EconPapers, or by using this look-up tool. See in the images below where the Short-ID pzi1 appears, including the address bar (click on any image to see it larger).

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To log in, you will find a prompt for MyIDEAS almost everywhere on IDEAS, just below the top bar.

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First, provide your RePEc Short-ID

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Then log in with your RePEc Author Service credentials

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Your are now ready. You will be logged out after an hour of inactivity.

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Populating the MyIDEAS account

Go almost anywhere on IDEAS and you will see a button that allows you to save something to your MyIDEAS account. For example, here is a paper abstract page. You have now the option to save this paper, and you can thereby start building a bibliography. We will see later what this looks like in MyIDEAS.

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If you click on the button, you get a confirmation.

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You can also follow serials (working paper series, journals, for example), authors and JEL codes. Following means that whenever you go to your MyIDEAS account, you can see what has been added since the last time.

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You can also follow keyword searches, a new feature. Do a search on IDEAS and add it to you MyIDEAS account. Note that you can refine your search with all the options offered on the advanced search page and they will be saved.

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Using MyIDEAS

We have added a few items to the MyIDEAS account, let us see what we can do with them. Click on MyIDEAS and you get to the MyIDEAS “home”.

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Let us look at the bibliography. By default all additions are put in folder “unassigned”. You can create additional folders and put the items in there.

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Once you go into one of the folders, you can do several things with them, including sharing your folder with others, extracting all references in various formats, moving items to other folders.

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Let us now move to the various thing you follow and start with authors. This tracks anything your followed authors have added to their profile since you added them to MyIDEAS or you refreshed the time stamp. Thus, for those you just added, nothing should be visible. For older ones, this should look like this:

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Note that you can reset the timestamp so that the next time you visit, you will not see these items again. The same principle applies for series and JEL codes:

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For the search keywords, they are no all listed on one single page because that could take a long time to load. You have to elect the keyword from the menu. Otherwise, the functionality of the page is similar.

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End note

MyIDEAS is a relatively new service, so we are looking for ways to improve it. Suggestions are welcome. One that is planned is to allow for email notifications. And finally, there are other ways to keep abreast of what is new in RePEc, including the NEP reports.


RePEc in July 2016

August 2, 2016

What’s new? MyIDEAS has a fresh layout and it is now much easier to add items to it. New functionalities are coming soon, too. The look of the rankings has been refreshed as well, along with more information. And we have started an initiative to increase the proportion of items for which we can perform citation analysis. We have welcomed the following new participating RePEc archives: Bournemouth University, Path of Science, Croatian National Bank, Publishing house “Knowledge and Business” Varna, Instituto Politécnico Nacional. And we counted 394,018 file downloads and 2,291,145 abstract views over the month.

Milestones we reached over the last month:
75,000,000 cumulative abstract views on EconPapers
50,000,000 cumulative working paper downloads
2,100,000 indexed documents
1,200,000 items in author profiles
2,500 journals


When email addresses go stale

July 20, 2016

RePEc sends monthly updates by email to authors, editors, and archive maintainers. The email addresses are taken from the data that is provided by the recipients. If they fail to maintain these addresses when they move, RePEc may not be able to contact them any more. This post describes what happens under such circumstances.

Once an email bounces after the monthly mailing, we put a notice wherever contact information may appear on IDEAS or EconPapers, encouraging readers to provide an alternative email address. While a RePEc administrator can update an email address in an author’s record, for RePEc archives it is more difficult, as the primary metadata lives on the publisher’s site. The relevant series and archive information needs to be updated by the new person in charge. Unfortunately, the new person sometimes was not given instructions on how to do this, and RePEc can be of little help in maintaining information on remote sites, beyond pointing to the instructions that were given to initially build the archive. In any case, if you notice such an “bad email” message on the page of a publisher of yours, you likely know who to contact to get this fixed.

For authors, RePEc can do something. After a few months, we see whether we can change the email, either by searching our contents and the web for an alternative or by contacting recent co-authors. That has helped to keep the proportion of bad emails remarkably low, below 2%, but also means works for the RePEc team that could have been prevented if the authors maintained their contact information. However, you can help RePEc by alerting us. A list of all bad emails is here, and are marked throughout the EconPapers and IDEAS sites. We also appreciate to learn if an author died, so that we can stop trying and immortalize their profile here. Note that authors with a bad email do not count towards the rankings of their institution, the assumption being that this person has either moved or died.

NB: for editors, a bad email may come from either the publisher’s data or from the author profile, or both.


RePEc in June 2016

July 3, 2016

What is new with RePEc? We are looking to constitute a quality-control committee for journals and a tool to annotate PDF papers. Otherwise, this has been a calm month. We logged 437,573 file downloads and 1,886,440 abstract views from participating RePEc services. We welcomed the following new RePEc archives: Journal of Economics Teaching, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Kuehne Logistics University, École Polytechnique de Montréal, National University of Life and Environmental Sciences, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Bilimsel Mektuplar Organizasyonu, National Taiwan University, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, and Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik. Yet, we do not seem to have reached a significant milestone in the past month.


RePEc in May 2016

June 4, 2016

In light of the recent purchase of a major open access provider by a commercial publisher, we want to emphasize that RePEc is independent and cannot be bought. More details are on our blog post. Note that there is a free host for open access papers in Economics that indexes its contents in RePEc: MPRA.

In May, we welcomed the following institutions that now maintain a RePEc archive: OSIPTEL, Technical University of Cluj Napoca, Times Research Consultant, Shiga University, Scienpress, Asociación Española de Economía Laboral, World Trade Institute, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (II). We counted 507,966 file downloads and 2,235,733 abstract views. And we reached the following milestones:

200,000,000 cumulative abstracts views on reporting RePEc services
90,000,000 cumulative downloads from reporting RePEc services
2,000,000 cumulative abstract views on Socionet
30,000 books
4,000 Twitter followers for NEP reports
3,000 books with references
300 authors in the directory of economists on Twitter


RePEc is independent and cannot be bought

May 17, 2016

In light of today’s announcement that Elsevier has bought SSRN, we take the opportunity to clarify whether this could happen to RePEc. The short answer is: no, this is impossible. The long answer is below.

The objective of RePEc is not not maximize profit or monetary value. It is to maximize global welfare, to use terminology from economics, by enhancing the dissemination of economic research for the publishers, the authors and the readers. The democratization of dissemination is a crucial part of our mission. Hence, RePEc was designed to run at extremely low cost, hence making it possible to make all services available for free. RePEc uses volunteer work and sponsorship for hardware, hosting and bandwidth. Volunteers and sponsors are willing to participate because of this mission. This means in particular that RePEc has no revenue. Thus it is unlikely a takeover target.

Furthermore, RePEc is actually just a set of principles of how to organize metadata about publications in economics. The participating publishers simply adhere to those principles to get their metadata included in RePEc. Anybody can come and use this data to create a service that does something with the RePEc data. There is nothing that could be bought, as all the data is actually put in the public domain. One could create a RePEc service that generates revenue. This would be against the principle of RePEc, and nobody can prevent somebody else to create a free RePEc service that does the same. Thus it is unlikely to happen. And in any case, this would still not mean a takeover of RePEc.

We care about our community of users and are here to serve them. RePEc is there to stay, and stay independent and free.