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.

RePEc in April 2016

May 5, 2016

A new feature has been added this month. We now have a sandbox where users can customize the aggregate ranking of serials, like it has already been possible for authors and institutions. We welcomed a few new institutions that contribute their publications to RePEc: Universidad del Pacífico, Kirklareli Üniversitesi, Ministerio Italiano dello Sviluppo Economico, Korea Development Institute, Institute for New Economic Thinking. We counted 526,639 file downloads and 2,569,501 abstract views on EconPapers, IDEAS, NEP and Socionet, the RePEc services that share such statistics. And finally, we reached the following milestones:

360,000,000 cumulated abstract views
6,000,000 cumulated software component abstract views
1,250,000 articles
1,200,000 articles with download
800,000 cited items
800,000 articles with abstracts
300,000 cited working papers
300,000 new working papers disseminated through NEP
60,000 people registered with the RePEc Author Service
10,000 items mentioned in a blog post indexed at EconAcademics

RePEc in March 2016

April 3, 2016

We have now three new rankings: one for public policy institutions, and two for institutions that count the number of top 5% authors, for publications in all years, or in the last 10 years. We also welcome the following new archives: Neofit Rilski Southwestern University, Association for Research, Innovation and Social Science, Notitia, National University of Civil Protection of Ukraine, Research Academy of Social Sciences, Istanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi, Canadian Center of Science and Education. For the RePEc services that report this, we counted 545,080 file downloads and 2,058,294 abstract views last month. Finally, we reached the following milestones:

700,000 items with references
2,400 journals

RePEc to sponsor football team

April 1, 2016

TeamREPEC Photo by Mustapha Ennaimi

A year ago, we introduced on this blog a way for RePEc to raise some funds by letting registered economists pay to get citations boosts for the ranking statistics. This has proven to be excessively successful to the point that we are in the position to use some money for a purpose that may not appear to be a core function of RePEc: sponsoring a football club (a soccer team for Americans in the audience). This is not some random act of sponsoring, as we answered a call from FK Řepeč-Opařany, a club playing at various levels of the Czech football leagues, which was looking for some help for its facilities.

Pictured above is the elite team sporting their new shirts emblazoned with the RePEc logo. They will play throughout the Czech Republic, making the public aware of the great things we do at RePEc. If you happen to run across them, make sure to encourage them!


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