Who is the typical RePEc user?

January 17, 2017

This answer is not that easy to answer, as using RePEc services typically does not require any registration. Still, some services use Google Analytics, which provides some elementary statistics about users, but nothing about demographics. Below are some of what we can learn by looking at the Google Analytics for IDEAS for 2016. This may or may not apply to other RePEc services.

First, one can learn a few things from the browser that is used. 53% of users have it set to use US-English, 8% British English, 4% each for Spanish and Chinese, and 3% each for French and German. This language variable, however, does not correlate perfectly with the location. Indeed, only 18% of users are in the United States, the next most frequent countries being the United Kingdom (7%), India (7%), Germany (4%), Italy, France, Canada, China (all 3%), and then with 2% Australia, the Philippines, Kenya, Colombia, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia. This wide distribution is actually quite encouraging, as the goal of RePEc is to democratize the access to research, and getting “non-traditional” countries to adopt RePEc services this well is a good sign. In particular, Africa represents 9% of the traffic, South Asia 10%, Southeast Asia 7% and South America 6%. And yes, there is traffic from North Korea.

What about browsers? Chrome is the clear winner, at 55%. Next come Firefox (14%), Safari (13%), Internet Explorer (8%), Opera Mini (3%) and Edge (2%). In terms of operating systems, Windows is first at 66% (of which 53% is Windows 7, 27% Windows 10, and 13% on Windows 8.1), then 14% on Macintosh, 10% Android, 6% iOS, and 1% Linux. It is clear from this that desktop use is still predominant (81%), while 16% use a mobile phone and only 3% a tablet.

Where is traffic originating? Most of it comes from search engines (76%), while 15% of traffic is referred from another website. 8% of traffic is direct, meaning from bookmarks or by typing the URL in the browser. 1% is coming from social media.

RePEc in December 2016, and a look back at 2016

January 5, 2017

We have two new features to announce this month: First, our directory of economics institutions, EDIRC got a face lift that includes much better viewing on mobile devices. Second, we have a new ranking for authors, the Euclidian measure of citations, following the article of Perry and Reny. Also, we counted 425,384 file downloads and 2,082,757 abstract views for the RePEc services reporting these statistics. Last month, we welcomed the following new RePEc archives: ERINA, University College Dublin (III), Dickinson College, UNESCAP (II), University College Algebra, Università Bocconi (II), Union of Scientists (Varna). Finally, we reached the following milestones:

10,000,000 matched citations
1,250,000 items in registered author profiles
1,000,000 paper announcements through NEP
900,000 articles with abstracts
800,000 items with extracted references
750,000 indexed working papers
400,000 working papers with extracted references
15,000 links to RePEc items on EconAcademics

As for 2016, what have we achieved? In terms of RePEc services, MyIDEAS received a complete overhaul with new features, CitEc is making a big push to expand the coverage of citation extraction and added an API, and SocioRePEc made available a series of tools for authors. In terms of content, RePEc now indexes 240,000 more items, a growth of 12%, in part thanks to 80 new RePEc archives, 200 new working paper series and 292 new journals, CitEc extracted the references of 140,000 more items, a growth of 20%, and 2,800 more authors are registered with the RePEc Author Service, a growth of 6%. We counted 5,610,593 downloads and 25,928,965 abstract views, an increase over last year which reverses a decline in traffic that lasted several years.

Next year is going to be important for RePEc andwe hope to have more positive news.

RePEc in November 2016

December 3, 2016

The RePEc rankings got a tiny addition, top authors by number of Twitter followers, which immediately received a lot of attention … on Twitter. More importantly, we have a new NEP report, NEP-GEN (Gender Economics). We have welcome the following newly participating RePEc archives: University fo Cape Town, Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas Publicas de Bolivia, Universidad Michoana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (I+II), Historical Household Budgets Project, LAREQ Press. We have counted 560,219 file downloads and 2,223,007 abstract views in November 2016. And finally we have reached the following milestones:

400,000 working papers with extracted references
100,000 monthly downloads through NEP
4,500 listed working paper series

Ranking optimization

November 18, 2016

RePEc is all about the free dissemination of economic research, but for many economists it is most known for its rankings. While would really emphasize that the rankings are only a by-product and to some degree a motivator for people and publishers to have their works listed on RePEc, we want to acknowledge that the rankings have become important, as they are use for evaluations in funding agencies and for promotion or tenure. So here are some recommendations on how to optimize rankings, both for authors and institutions.

For authors

  1. Foremost, make sure your profile is current. Go to RePEc Author Service and log in. Click on research to see whether the system has found any suggestions. Make sure you have all the relevant name variations for you so that it can make the best suggestions. Check also if the system needs some help in attributing some citations.
  2. A few publishers still do not participate, particularly among book publishers. Encourage yours to index its works in RePEc.
  3. If you have advised graduate students and they are registered in RePEc, add them to your RePEc Genealogy record. Help your own advisor’s record as well. This is likely the lowest hanging fruit for many economists.
  4. RePEc sometimes fails to find the bibliography for some articles. If this makes you miss some citations, you can help by uploading those references. The full bibliography is required. The input form is here.
  5. Working papers get downloaded many more times than journal articles. Thus make sure to have them listed! Your institution can have its WP series indexed following these instructions. If that does not work out, upload them to MPRA. Most publishers allow it, as long as it is not the final version. See details at SHERAP/RoMEO.
  6. Finally, link to your profile on IDEAS or EconPapers from your webpage.

For institutions

  1. Foremost, make sure that all members of your institution are registered at the RePEc Author Service. You can look up who is already there by finding your record at EDIRC. Note that if someone is listed with a question mark, it means their email address is not valid, and they will not count towards your score. Please get it corrected (or tell us about the new address or whether this person may have died. It happens).
  2. If you have a graduate program, you want to have the graduates listed in the RePEc Genealogy. Your EDIRC record also lists who is already linked. There is already a ranking using these records.
  3. If you have a working paper series or some other serial, make sure it is indexed in RePEc. Instructions.
  4. Of course, have your members follow the recommendations for authors above.

RePEc in October 2016

November 4, 2016

We have reached two major milestones in the past month: there are now over 2 millions works indexed in RePEc with links to their full texts on-line, and our citation project CitEc has extracted over 25 million references. In addition, with have a new ranking of economists and of institutions covering Latin American and the Caribbean. We counted 504,174 file downloads and 2,366,249 abstract views. We welcomed the following new RePEc archives: Université Paris-Nord, Toroudshomal Research-Industrial Company, Journal of Smart Economic Growth, Association Recherche et Régulation, Applied Economics Research Centre (Pakistan), Kobe University, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies. And finally we reached the following milestones:

25,000,000 extracted citations
2,000,000 online works
1,300,000 online articles
40,000 online book chapters
500 registered authors on Twitter directory

How to follow new Economics literature with RePEc

October 17, 2016

RePEc is basically a scheme to organize and collect the Economics literature, with all the relevant data made available by the providers and publishers. RePEc services then collect, organize and enhance this data and make it available to the public. In this post, we want to show how the interested reader can stay up-to-date with the latest publications in their field. All these services are offered free of charge and are managed by volunteers.


NEP (New Economics Papers) is likely the most popular service in this respect. As its name indicates, it focuses on papers and not journal articles, on the premise that the frontier of research is with pre-preprints like working and discussion papers. Given the publication delays that are endemic in Economics, this makes sense. NEP is organized in over 90 fields, each with a human editor who determines which of the 500 to 1000 weekly new papers are relevant. The weekly reports are then disseminated through email lists, RSS feeds, and Twitter. On the NEP homepage, click on the report name to find these options.


EconPapers is a comprehensive service that allows to search or browse the entire contents indexed by RePEc. Its advanced search form has the option to select only search results that were added recently, and to rank the results by that date.


IDEAS is also a comprehensive service with the entire contents of RePEc. It has a personal area requiring a free user login, MyIDEAS, which allows the user to follow various objects, meaning that any addition to RePEc that correspond to characteristics set by the user are displayed. The objects can be serials (papers series or journals), authors, JEL codes, or results from the search engine. Results are stored in the accounts, email notification is planned for the future.


Socionet is a service based in Russia that is comprehensive as well and that is available in Russian and English. It features the Socionet Personal Zone which allows a registered user to configure one or more robots that keep track of additions and either puts them into a folder on the website or sends them by email.

RePEc in September 2016

October 6, 2016

We counted 427,661 file downloads and 2,038,334 abstract views in September 2016 for the four RePEc services that provide such statistics: EconPapers, IDEAS, NEP, and SocioNet. Unfortunately, this does not include a longer and longer list of other services that also use the RePEc data. We have also welcomed the following new contributing archives: Athens University of Business and Economics, University of St. Thomas, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Central Bank of Azerbaijan Republic. And we reached a few milestones as well:

9,000,000 matched citations
5,000,000 cumulative book abstract views
600,000 working papers with listed abstracts
40,000 listed book chapters
10,000 cited book chapters
5,000 followers for NEP Twitter feeds