RePEc in July 2016

August 2, 2016

What’s new? MyIDEAS has a fresh layout and it is now much easier to add items to it. New functionalities are coming soon, too. The look of the rankings has been refreshed as well, along with more information. And we have started an initiative to increase the proportion of items for which we can perform citation analysis. We have welcomed the following new participating RePEc archives: Bournemouth University, Path of Science, Croatian National Bank, Publishing house “Knowledge and Business” Varna, Instituto Politécnico Nacional. And we counted 394,018 file downloads and 2,291,145 abstract views over the month.

Milestones we reached over the last month:
75,000,000 cumulative abstract views on EconPapers
50,000,000 cumulative working paper downloads
2,100,000 indexed documents
1,200,000 items in author profiles
2,500 journals

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.

Annotating papers in PDF files

June 25, 2016

The 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

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

[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 Relationships, (direct link to PDF)

[3] Semantic Linkages in Research Information Systems as a New Data Source for Scientometric Studies, (direct link to PDF)

Quality control committee: looking for volunteer

June 13, 2016

The RePEc community is looking for a volunteer to head a committee on quality control for journals admitted to be indexed in RePEc. Here is some background.

There is a growing number of journal-like outlets that pretend to be normal open access journals. But in reality, all they do is take authors’ money, and put the content up on a web site. They do no quality  control. They have no editorial board that does any work. In fact, many times people on the board do not even know that they are on it.

Traditionally, RePEc has not done any quality control prior to listing additional journals. We believe that quality can best be assessed by users of the RePEc dataset. However, we have been criticized for helping these deceitful outlets gain a mantle of respectability through their RePEc listing. Therefore we take this step forward. We expect quality control also to be an issue with toll-gated journals.

The volunteer we are looking for will determine the exact name of the committee and its remit. (S)he would recruit a few committee members. (S)he would run the mailing list and maintain some web pages for the committee. RePEc can provide both. Anybody who is interested in this work should contact

We expect that this will not be a lot of work. We are sure that this as a duty that any academic can itemize as a professional service on their CV.

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.


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