News about EDIRC, the index of economics institutions

November 21, 2012

EDIRC is an index of economics departments, institutes and research centers created in 1995 that has been feeding RePEc with data about such institutions. But beyond just a listing of institutions, it has evolved into an information source of its own right. Currently, it has the following additional features:

  • Links to journals or working paper series published by the respective institutions and indexed in RePEc.
  • Listings of all people affiliated with the respective institutions and registered with the RePEc Author Service.
  • For these people, a link to a compilation of all their publications.
  • A recent add-on is a listing of all alumni (final degree) as found on the RePEc Genealogy.
  • For the alumni as well, a link to a compilation of their publications.

With close to 13,000 listed institutions, EDIRC has grown a lot since its start. After all those years, the database will now go through some gradual changes, among which are:

  • New categories: the current ones were designed when there were only a few hundred listed institutions.
  • About 12% of the links are known to be invalid. They are currently being systematically checked for better addresses, but this will take several months.
  • Institutions that are known to be defunct and that have no links to people or publications will be removed.
  • When possible, chairs and similar “micro-institutions” will be consolidated. They change too frequently and have become a maintenance burden with no significant benefit. This pertains particularly to Germanic universities.
  • An effort is currently being made to add translations of institution names to English wherever possible. Indeed, it appears that even natives users search for the English name.
  • Speaking of search, the search engine will be improved to make searches more intuitive and efficient than is currently the case.

Of course, any help is always appreciated. In particular, if you notice a bad link, a valid one is always appreciated. And you will be credited along with all the other contributors.

Introducing the RePEc Genealogy

September 28, 2012

A new RePEc service is born, the RePEc Genealogy, which collects and displays the academic family tree for economics. This is a crowd-sourced initiative, which means that any person registered with the RePEc Author Service can contribute information about oneself and others: institution and year where the terminal degree was obtained, advisor, and possibly students.

The collected data will be used in various ways. Currently, author profiles on IDEAS link back to relevant genealogy pages. The directory of institutions, EDIRC, has lists of alumni and their publications. In the future, when we have critical mass, we can use this data to properly rank young economists. Currently, we infer there start in the profession by dating their first publication. A graduation year would be more appropriate. Also, the genealogy data would also allow us to evaluate graduate departments.

Help make this service useful. You can add information by logging in using your RePEc Author Service credentials here. Thank you!

New CitEc features

September 24, 2012

In the past months we have added some new features to the Citations in Economics service:

References input service

Many documents in CitEc cannot be automatically processed due to a variety of reasons: they are not open access, not in PDF format or the PDF file can not be converted to text. Although some publishers provide us access to gated references, many are still missing. Often we get requests from authors asking why a citation to one of their papers is not included in CitEc. The answer is always the same: because the citing paper has not been processed. If this is your case, it is now possible to provide CitEc with the missing references and they will be processed. We ask, though, that all references from the citing paper be provided. Incomplete reference lists will not be considered. The lists of references and the contributor will be made public. The input form can be found here or from any IDEAS abstract page.

Add citation now

In some cases a paper cites a document available in RePEc but the system is not able to identify it as a RePEc item. For each reference not automatically linked by the system, the user may now add the handle of the cited document. All citations submitted through this feature are monitored to check if it is correct or not. A link to this form can be found from any IDEAS abstract page.

Citation profiles for authors

CitEc now provides citation profiles for authors. For each registered author in the RePEc Author Service, we provide a profile with her scientific production and the number of citations of each paper. Also we provide some indicators like the h-index and information about recent co-authors. For an example look at: Note that this is work in progress, and the statistics on this page are not yet adjusted the way they are for the ranking statistics (versioning, self-citations).

New design for series pages

We have changed the format of the citations and production graphics. Also the papers bibliographic data is presented in a clearer way. An example at:

Included historical data for series pages

The time series for series citation data now goes back to 1990. Citations, document production and impact factor for all years is provided.

Use of persistent URLs

Now it is possible to access the citation data for authors and documents using short and persistent URLs like:, or To create such URLs simply add to the paper/article handle or RePEc Author Service Short-ID.

OpenID authentication through RePEc

August 21, 2012

It is now possible to use RePEc Author Service credentials to log into some other websites using the OpenID schema. This means that users do not need to use separate user names and passwords for those websites.

OpenID uses a user’s web page to establish credentials, as long as the website participates in OpenID. The RePEc Author Service now does so, with the drawback that few users know their profile URL (for example: For this reason, services using OpenID credentials through RePEc will typically request the user’s RePEc short-ID (for example: pzi1). The latter can be found on an author’s profile on EconPapers or IDEAS, or by using a RePEc short-ID lookup tool.

A typical authentication procedure goes as follows:

  1. The user is asked for a personal RePEc short-ID at a referring service.
  2. The service forwards this information to the RePEc Author Service, which shows the habitual log-in page.
  3. The user enters the usual RePEc Author Service credentials (email address and password).
  4. Upon success, the RePEc Author Service asks for confirmation that log-in should proceed at the referring service.
  5. Upon confirmation, the referring service obtains confirmation from the RePEc Author Service that this is the person with this short-ID.

Steps 2 and 5 are bypassed if the user has a live RePEc Author Service session. It should be noted that the RePEc Author Service does not communicate the email address or the password, only that the owner of the short-ID (and its corresponding web page) is indeed this person. The referring service is then free to use the short-ID in its own authentication.

Note that some people will not be able to use this authentication service right away. Indeed, their RePEc Author Service profile needs to be enabled for this. This is not the case for anybody who has not logged in the RePEc Author Service since late June 2012.

OpenID authentication through RePEc is currently in use for the maintenance of reading lists and publication compilations on IDEAS, as well as for the RePEc plagiarism committee. Other services that require authentication, tied to RePEc or not, will soon follow.

Linking with social media and page translation

June 26, 2012

We have noticed that material on RePEc is used quite heavily on social media, in particular Facebook, Twitter and Delicious. To make it easier, IDEAS now features on every page buttons that allow a user to quickly link with some services. Currently, the following options are available: Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Google+ and Reddit. In addition, there is a button to print and one to email the link.

The code for all this was custom written to avoid using tracking cookies that are common with similar referral services. One consequence is that the email button will only work if an email client is installed on the computer. It will not work with Gmail, Hotmail, and other web-based email services.

In addition, Google Translate has been implemented as well, which should be able to translate any page you your language of choice, even when several languages are present. Of course, only the original version is guaranteed to be accurate. Note that this service uses a tracking cookie, but virtually everyone already has a Google cookie anyway.

EconPapers will soon implement the same features.

Wikipedia and RePEc

March 19, 2012

Wikipedia is a well known crowd-sourced encyclopedia. It has an incredible wealth of knowledge which is often backed up by appropriate citations. Those citations may lead to material listed on RePEc. In fact, Wikipedia is currently the most important referrer to IDEAS (excluding search engines) and there are currently 1516 links to IDEAS and EconPapers, mainly on Wikipedia, and also on a few other projects, like Wikibooks, Wikiversity and Wiktionary. This number is gathered from the 57 languages with the most pages on Wikipedia. Of the 1524, 1363 resolve to author, book, article, chapter, software component or paper pages on IDEAS or EconPapers. The rest are mostly to service portals or to rankings.

The fact that a paper is mentioned in Wikipedia is not unlike a citation. Hence, IDEAS now links back to the appropriate Wikipedia page whenever possible. This can be found on the “lists” subfield on every IDEAS page. And for those curious about the distribution by language for the back-links: English 574, German 165, Spanish 83, Norwegian 48, French 48, Japanese 44, Bulgarian 41, Turkish 36.

A new RePEc service: CollEc

March 11, 2012

A new RePEc service is now on-line, CollEc. The main goal of this initiative is to analyze co-authorship networks within Economics. To this end, it collects all the authorship data from the RePEc Author Service and computes the shortest path through co-authorship relationships between any two registered economists. From all this data, two “features” are computed.

First, a closeness and a betweenness score is computed for every economist. Closeness measure how close one is with everyone else. Betweenness measures how frequently shortest paths have a particular economist as a node. Of course, economists can be ranked according to both criteria.

Second, the website allows to display the shortest paths between any two economists, and one can be surprised at how short they often are. To play with this, either navigate the lists on CollEc or find the direct link to an author’s page on IDEAS (author profile, under “statistics”), then enter the name of another author.

Note that only authors registered with RePEc are considered. Also, not every registered author is part of this global network of co-authorship. For example, an author without a (registered) co-author is excluded. Also, an economist at the end of a path cannot have a betweenness score, mostly likely someone with a single (registered) co-author.