Exploring the pre-publication communication for RePEc users

September 13, 2016

Two months ago, we announced a new free RePEc service that allows RePEc users making a fragmentation/annotation of papers and linking whole papers and/or their fragments by scientific relationships. These new tools are publicly available at sociorepec.org. It can help researchers with their everyday academic work, like discovery, analysis, and writing of new papers.

Using these tools researchers create private or public micro research outputs (annotations, relationships, etc.). If it is public, SocioRePEc can initiate direct scholarly communication between the researchers who used some papers to create micro outputs and the authors of the used papers. Such direct communication takes place while researchers are collecting findings, manipulating and organizing the findings, e.g. as their manuscripts. Thus, researchers have an opportunity to come to scholarly communication before the manuscripts become traditional publications. We call this the pre-publication communication.

Recently we presented our vision of the possible impact of pre-publication communication in a position paper “End of Publication? Open access and a new scholarly communication technology“.

We are looking for partners (organizations or individuals) to explore the pre-publication communication.

We want to find out how useful pre-publication communication is. As the first step, we propose some experiments with SocioRePEc facilities:

1. Competitive selection. The basic pre-publication communication provided by SocioRePEc is public. That means the system allows experiments with creating some elements of competition. Members of the research community can trace the “author”<–>”user” pre-publication communication. Then they compete with the author by offering the user better research results or more efficient solution to her/his research problem.

2. Identification of the “neighbours”. We can think of researchers using research outputs of other researchers as “neighbours” in the global scientific labor division system. Pre-publication communication can help researchers to find out who their neighbours are. This can give the neighbours better collective intelligence. They can interactively adjust and adapt their “supply” and “demand” to get better mutual impact from their direct research cooperation.

3. Exploring challenges. Do researchers appreciate that pre-publication communication is an instrument for identifying problems in and reducing potential issues of the credibility of their work? To shed some light on this question we need some additional qualitative study on how a research culture (formal and informal norms, rules, and motivation) can be developed that can lead researchers to adopt pre-publication scholarly communication.

4. Publication as aggregation. It is also important to find out what could motivate scholars to adopt the idea that the future of research publication is aggregation. Neylon wrote about this: “If we think of publication as the act of bringing a set of things together and providing them with a coherent identity then that publication can be many things with many possible uses” [1]. Possible questions for the experiments are: What kind of forms in general can research outputs usage have in, say, economics? Will researchers agree to share micro research outputs in order to benefit from the pre-publication communication? Under what circumstances could researchers adopt the idea of “publication as aggregation”?

5. Transparency in research. What changes in research practice can initiate global pre-publication scholarly communication between authors and users of research outputs? How can this improve the transparency and credibility of their research findings? Answering these questions will imply some study of, for example, the community of RePEc users. We see them as a pro-active group of scholars open to innovations in the field of global scholarly communication technology.

We rely on grant support, sponsorship and community donations to get started.  Please consider making a donation or support us in another form (email for contacts).


[1] Neylon, C. The future of research communication is aggregation, Science in the Open Blog, published: 10 April 2010. Available online:  http://cameronneylon.net/blog/the-future-of-research-communication-is-aggregation/

Annotating papers in PDF files

June 25, 2016

The SocioRePEc.org research information system provides free added-value services for RePEc users, including a new tool to annotate RePEc papers in PDF. SocioRePEc also gives enrichment facilities for RePEc authors and some additional daily updated statistics.

Compare with other RePEc services like IDEAS, etc., SocioRePEc currently supports some new use cases:

  1. You can select interesting fragments within PDF papers and store them with your comments as your micro research outputs. You can keep them for your private use only. If you share them publicly, readers of the papers will see them as annotations to papers’ text. See more in the instructions.
    Other RePEc services can freely take the public annotation data from SocioRePEc.
    We continue further development of this tool to enable fragmentation and re-use of research outputs in PDF in new ways [1].
  2. The enrichment facilities allow you to create research relationships between the fragments of papers, annotations, etc. See instruction.We provide an initial taxonomy of the research relationships [2] and continue its development.
  3. The new statistical service gives daily updated pictures of the “production”, the “popularity” and the “usage” activities behind changes of the RePEc data. See more here.
    In particular, an author can see at the personal profile page (example) their the most popular papers for the specified period of time (example), different classes of scientific relationships with their papers (example), and some other statistics.
    Research organisations, for instance, can see at the profile page (example) their the most popular papers by collections (example) or by researchers from its staff (example), scientific relationships, and some other statistics, e.g. with total numbers of their papers by collections and by researchers, etc.We are developing this statistical service to be a “signalling system” for RePEc users [3].

By developing SocioRePEc, the SocioRePEc team proposes to the RePEc community a testbed for experiments with new forms of re-using research papers, with ability to express research relationships between papers, with new ways for scholarly communication [1,2] and with the statistical signalling system [3].

We believe this SocioRePEc approach and technology can bring a new level of transparency in research and can lead to improvements in the scientific standards of rigour and integrity.

The SocioRePEc team invites individuals and organisations to collaboration.

At the moment the project has no funding. We are looking for funding sources and/or a cooperation with other projects. If you can help, please let me know at sparinov@gmail.com.

Please consider making a donation. If you like to be a sponsor of this project, please let us know at admin@sociorepec.org.

[1] SocioRePEc CRIS with an interactive mode of the research outputs usage, (direct link to PDF)

[2] Scholarly Communication in a Semantically Enrichable Research Information System with Embedded Taxonomy of Scientific Relationshipshttp://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-24543-0_7, (direct link to PDF)

[3] Semantic Linkages in Research Information Systems as a New Data Source for Scientometric Studieshttp://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11192-013-1108-3, (direct link to PDF)


February 11, 2016

The CitEc project has launched an Application Programming Interface (API) to enable external applications to query the CitEc database and obtain citation data through a simple web interface. It allows to retrieve three different types of data for each document: plain, AMF (Academic Metadata Format) and citedby.

  1. Plain XML data about cites of a single document. This data should be processed by the API client before be presented to the user.
  2. AMF metadata for cites and references (if available) for the document. The XML response is an AMF record. More details about the AMF schema is available at: http://amf.openlib.org/doc/ebisu.html.
  3. Citedby shows the cites for the document. By default, the XML output is transformed through an XSLT style sheet to generate an human readable page.

The CitEc API is addressed mainly to:

  • Institutions providing data to RePEc (RePEc archives). The API could be used to insert in their web pages the number of citations of each document.
  • Researchers who want to use CitEc data in their bibliometric research. It provides an easy way to get basic data about documents and citations. Note that such researchers also could ask us to provide the data in the customized format they need in order to reduce even more the processing time.

Look at http://citec.repec.org/api.html for more information and examples.

Note that beyond CitEc, IDEAS provides also an API for other parts of the RePEc database.


RePEc offers now an API

September 28, 2015

RePEc is all about the dissemination of its metadata on the economics research literature, and another means of dissemination has been added to its portfolio: an API (Application Programming Interface). This allows applications to interact directly with the content of RePEc without having to go through the sometimes tedious steps involved in collecting data from a decentralized database, which RePEc is.

As we have yet to learn how much demand there is and how it will load our servers, the use of the API is restricted at this point. We want to encourage data user to first use the traditional method to gather RePEc data, as described in this document, before applying for an API user code. Note that functionalities are getting added to the API as users demand, thus not everything is possible at this point.

Enrichment facilities for papers readers

January 19, 2015

This post is the last in a series on the new enrichment facility on Socionet.

When you are logged into the Socionet system and browse a publication that is not one of yours, you will see close to the bottom of the page the following three menus

The first one allows readers, if they are registered authors with publications linked to their personal profiles, to check a paper from the list of own claimed papers and select a taxonomy value at the drop-down list “Relationship type” in such a form

For this use case we support a taxonomy of recommendations or just useful comments that can be provided by a reader  to the author of the browsed paper based on a content of some publication of the reader. The taxonomy has following values:

You can apply software that I used
Your results are analysed in my publication
Your idea/method/model/results are itemized in my publication
Your data/method/model/results are illustrated in my publication
Your results are interpreted in my publication
My data/method/model are better
Your idea/method/model/results are generalized in my publication
A similar problem is discussed in my publication
Your results are refuted in my publication
I received the same results
Your idea/method/model are implemented in my work
Your errors are detected and corrected in my publication

The second menu is called the “Scientific developments and associations with this publications“. It opens the same form. The taxonomy in this case allows a user to specify the development and complement relationships between a user paper and the currently browsed paper. This taxonomy has been already used in some other use cases and has following values:

uses data from
uses method from
uses a model from
uses software from
uses statistics from
details idea/method/model from
generalizes idea/method/model from
implements idea/method/model from
analyzes results from
illustrates results from
interprets results from
corrects errors in
refines results from
refutes results from
develops results from

The third menu option is called the “Professional opinion on this publication“. It allows readers sharing with the community their opinions about the browsed paper. It opens the same form and provides the same taxonomy as described for the use case of the annotating paper’s abstract. But in this case a user does not need to select a text fragment within an a paper’s abstract to open the form.

A new ecosystem for authors of research papers in RePEc

January 12, 2015

This post is part of a series about the new enrichment facility at Socionet.

RePEc users can use now some new tools and services, which forms together following ecosystem:

A. If a user is logged into the Socionet system, which processes whole RePEc dataset, the user can create different types of semantic linkages between papers, personal profiles, etc. This new users’ facility is illustrated by following main use cases:

1. A user can specify the roles of their co-authorship in the making of a collective paper.

2. A user can annotate text fragments of a paper’s abstract to provide readers with additional and/or newer information on the topic.

3. A user can link their papers together, e.g. to provide information about its open access or newest versions; and to show to readers an evolution of ideas or a development of approaches through a set of own papers.

4. A user can contribute data on how the works referenced in their paper are used.

5. A user can share their professional opinion, or make recommendations, comments  about relationships between their papers and the one that is currently browsed.

B. All user-created outgoing and ingoing semantic linkages are visualized on the paper page together with initial metadata of the paper.

C. All created semantic linkages are processed by the Socionet system on the everyday base to collect statistical data and to build different scientometric indicators. For personal and organizational profiles the statistics are aggregated by links between OrgUnit <-> Person <-> Paper. Such indicators are available for every paper (example), personal (example) or organizational (example) profile. And also for every RePEc archive and series.

D. The community of RePEc user can create new and develop already existed taxonomy of scientific relationships which are used in tools to create semantic linkages. The same they can propose new use cases of using this technique over RePEc dataset. Please send such proposals to me or leave it in comments.

E. The registered users can switch on the e-mail notification service, which will inform them when someone creates/modifies a semantic linkage with their papers, or when someone is changing papers that the user linked together, and so on.

F. Developers of RePEc services can harvest and use the data of all created semantic linkages. The data are freely available by three ways: 1) by FTP from the Socionet server; 2) by OAI-PMH protocol with CERIF output format; 3) by REST API in XML form.

How to contribute motives for using papers from your papers’ reference lists

December 22, 2014

This post is part of an ongoing series on the enrichment facility at Socionet.

The Socionet system uses the CitEc data about citations and similar internal data. When the citation data for a paper is available, Socionet displays a reference list for the currently browsed paper. The list is limited to publications that are available at RePEc or at Socionet. This list may look like this

In the list there may be two sections: a) referenced papers claimed as own by author(s) of this paper; b) papers of other authors or unclaimed papers.

If you are logged into the system and browsed one of your papers, on the right you will see a link “[+]” for each reference. This link opens the form to specify your motives of using the paper you referenced

This form is the same as in other enrichment use cases. The difference is the taxonomy available for you in the “Relationship type” drop-down menu. For this specific use case the taxonomy supports relationships of development and complement between two papers, which was used in the papers’ abstract annotation use case and has following values:

uses data from
uses method from
uses a model from
uses software from
uses statistics from
details idea/method/model from
generalizes idea/method/model from
implements idea/method/model from
analyzes results from
illustrates results from
interprets results from
corrects errors in
refines results from
refutes results from
develops results from

After making such enrichment the reference list of a publication may look for readers like this

The data added  by the author about citation motivations is highlighted by yellow-color background as seen above. Pointing a mouse on it, you may see a pop-up comment if it was provided. The link allows viewing detailed data about the linkage that was created in this case.