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.
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:
- 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 .
- 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  and continue its development.
- 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 .
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 .
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 email@example.com.
 Scholarly Communication in a Semantically Enrichable Research Information System with Embedded Taxonomy of Scientific Relationships, http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-24543-0_7, (direct link to PDF)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
4,000 Twitter followers for NEP reports
3,000 books with references
300 authors in the directory of economists on Twitter
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.
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
1,200,000 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
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