Last month, we counted 497,856 file downloads and 2,031,700 abstract views on reporting RePEc services. We weclomed a good bunch of new RePEc archives: Financial Research Institute (Moscow), Budapest Business School, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Athens Institute for Education and Research, African Finance and Economic Association, Institut national d’études démographiques (INED), Red Investigadores de Economía (Colombia). We also added a small feature that allows to correct how we infer their gender. This can be found on the ranking analysis link they get in their monthly email. And finally we reached one milestone:
RePEc is always looking for ways to offer more useful services to the Economics community. One suggestion that we receive on a regular basis is to make is possible to add public comments, “user notes”, about the papers disseminated by RePEc. In this blog post, we offer a proposal for such a feature on IDEAS, with proposed rules and a poll to see whether the Economics community would be interested in this new feature.
This should give the opportunity to readers of the papers to offer their comments, for authors to provide clarifications, for conference discussants to provide their thoughts to a wider audience, and even for referees to make public their reports, if they wish so.
Rules of user notes on IDEAS
A RePEc user account (RePEc Author Service) with clear identification is necessary to post a user note.
There is a delay of a day between the creation of an account and the privilege of posting.
Posts retain the name of the poster even after deletion of the account.
Posts should remain professional and on topic. Readers can report abuses to moderators (no registration required). The text of moderated posts will become invisible, with poster name still visible and reason for moderation declared. Posters can appeal moderation decisions.
Registered authors and previous posters in a thread will be alerted about a new user note. Authors have the opportunity to opt out of alerts for the associated paper or all their papers.
A bulletin board is available to see new user notes. Boards are also available by subfield (if no subfield can be determined automatically by JEL codes or NEP reports, the first poster can set the subfield).
A user note posted for one version of a paper will be visible for all versions of that paper.
User notes are in plain text, with no attachments and no links, of at most 5,000 characters. Posters can thread several posts, though.
There will be no counting of points, likes, upvotes, scores, or other games associates with this.
This set of rules can change as experience warrants, after consultation with users.
This poll is open until 26 December 2018, midnight CST.
This was a busy month at RePEc. Not because of new archives, because just two new ones joined: Revista Lumina and Universitas Islam Indonesia. However, a lot of material was added and we enjoyed good growth in traffic, with 496,854 file downloads and 1,885,141 abstract views from reporting RePEc services. A minor innovation, female economists are now identified from their names with NamSor. And we passed the following milestones in October:
1,800,000 indexed journal articles
25,000 books available online
This week is Open Access Week, and this gives us the opportunity to highlight how RePEc has been promoting open access to economic literature since 1997 (and since 1992 with its predecessor projects). We want to distinguish here two ways research is open in economics: through pre-prints and through open access journals.
Economics has a long tradition of pre-prints that predates the web. Usually called working papers or discussion papers, they have become popular because publication delays are very long in economics (measured in years). The origin of RePEc lies in making the dissemination of those pre-prints more efficient by providing central services for their discovery. Before, it was very difficult for those outside existing top institutions to know what the current frontier of research was. As is still valid now, publication in journals was really a historical record of where the research frontier was a few years earlier. Now, RePEc has records for over 800,000 pre-prints and disseminates them through web sites, mailing lists, RSS feeds and Twitter. They are also included in the citation analysis and they are indeed cited on a level field with journal articles. In fact, RePEc does not privilege journal articles over pre-prints, yet working papers are downloaded seven more times than the corresponding articles.
For those who stumble upon a journal article in a RePEc site, the alternative version as a pre-print is offered when available. This is particularly useful when the journal is gated: this allows the reader without a subscription to still have a read of the full paper. Sometimes it is not the final version, and sometimes it is even a more complete version as the editorial process may have required cuts. Such links from article to pre-print are particularly frequent for the most cited works.
Open access journals
RePEc is also indexing journal articles, and this includes the open access ones. Typically, they are noted with a special notice indicating that the full text can be downloaded freely. In addition, gated journals are not privileged in any way over open access ones: RePEc invites all journals to be indexed, as long as they are willing to follow our instructions. This allows small independent journals to get the same opportunity as journals from the largest commercial publishers to be searched and found on RePEc sites. In fact, free downloads does lead to more frequent downloads.
Last month, we welcomed the following new participating archives: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, European Microfinance Network, Bank Indonesia, Mendel University Press, Bangor University, Economic History Society. We counted 382,881 file downloads and 1,549,190 abstract views through EconPapers, IDEAS, NEP, and Socionet. And we reached the following milestones:
5,000,000 cumulative abstract views for book chapters
2,000,000 items with abstracts
12,500 Twitter followers for NEP reports
RePEc is a uniquely organized initiative that brings with it an alphabet soup that confuses a lot of people, and we cannot blame them. Is a paper listed on IDEAS or RePEc? How is NEP different from RePEc? What is the difference between IDEAS and EconPapers? Etc.
For starters, RePEc (Research Papers in Economics, hence the capitalization) is a way to organize the data about publications of all sorts in Economics, and make all that available. Note that there is no central database, as every contributing publishers makes the data available on its own website following the rules set by RePEc. Beyond those rules, RePEc only maintains the list of pointers to where the publishers have put their RePEc archives.
Then, basically anybody can come and use that data. Some have decided to do that more formally and have their service listed in the repec.org domain. Examples would be EconPapers, IDEAS, and NEP. Others prefer not to or integrate the data in a larger scheme that spans more fields. Examples are Econlit, WorldCat, EBSCO, Google Scholar or ResearchGate. A third type of service uses part of RePEc data to enhance it and feed it back to RePEc. Examples for that are CitEc, EDIRC, and the RePEc Author Service. For a full list of the RePEc services that we know of, see the RePEc site.
Thus, RePEc is the basis for these services, to varying degrees, but they are independently run and RePEc has no say how they should be run. In fact, RePEc is not even a formal organization. Thus IDEAS is using RePEc data just as EconPapers is using RePEc data, but they are in no way directed by RePEc. And, the big difference between IDEAS and EconPapers is that they were initiated by different people. In the spirit of healthy competition, use the one you prefer.
New for users of RePEc data: A R package to leverage the RePEc API is now available in CRAN. A first of sorts is that we welcomed just one new RePEc archive, Knowledge Press. We counted 323,544 file downloads and 1,450,521 abstract views through EconPapers, IDEAS, NEP, and Socionet. And we hit the following milestones last month:
2,500,000 works available online
1,200,000 article abstracts
Welcome to the RePEc blog. We, the RePEc team, discuss here the workings of RePEc and seek input from the community on how we can improve. We also want to give more volunteers opportunity to be part of this project and provide valuable services to the profession. Finally, we also discuss issues about the dissemination of research in Economics.
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