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RePEc data can be used for many purposes and is available for such purposes. It not always very practical to access it. The standard method is described here: it involves getting the metadata from each RePEc archive. This requires a significant investment and know-how, and for those who cannot use the standard method, an API is now available as a courtesy. Note that if you are only interested in citation and reference data, CitEc has its own API.

Note that the API is currently not openly available, as we have yet to understand the demand for it and how much it could be taxing our servers. For this reason, potential users are asked to first consider the standard way to access the RePEc data. Note that an API is not suited for large data downloads, it is good to get fast small data snippets. If access through the API is really needed, the following is needed:

  1. The identity of the user.
  2. The purpose of the API use.
  3. Which data would be needed.
  4. Why the standard method is not used.
  5. Which IP would be accessing the API.
  6. The end date of the project.
  7. The expected frequency of the API calls.
Email Christian Zimmermann with your request. An approved user then receives an access code that is valid for a finite time (validity can be renewed on request). We reserve the right to throttle the API if needed. Metadata is delivered in JSON. Specific functions are unlocked for a particular user. Functions will be added as demand for them materializes. Note that there is no search function though the API. If you want to track search terms, use MyIDEAS.

Examples of functions are: getref, getrecentpapers, getpubsfromwpseries, getauthorshortid. Possible uses are: determine RePEc Short-ID of authors to insert into ReDIF templates or other metadata, get a bibligraphic reference with link to a RePEc service, determine where working papers from a specified series have been published, etc. Data call can also cover metadata from the RePEc Author Service, EDIRC, RePEc Biblio, and RePEc Genealogy.

A sample output looks like this
Call for a paper reference given a RePEc handle

[{"author":"Krapf, Matthias & Ursprung, Heinrich W. & Zimmermann, Christian","jel":"I23 J13 J24","handle":"RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2014-001","keywords":"Fertility; research productivity; gender gap; research productivity; life cycle.","abstract":"We examine the effect of pregnancy and parenthood on the research productivity of academic economists. Combining the survey responses of nearly 10,000 economists with their publication records as documented in their RePEc accounts, we do not find that motherhood is associated with low research productivity. Nor do we find a statistically significant unconditional effect of a first child on research productivity. Conditional difference-in-differences estimates, however, suggest that the effect of parenthood on research productivity is negative for unmarried women and positive for untenured men. Moreover, becoming a mother before 30 years of age appears to have a detrimental effect on research productivity.","revisiondate":"  ","registered":[{"name":"Christian  Zimmermann","shortid":"pzi1"},{"name":"Matthias  Krapf","shortid":"pkr131"},{"name":"Heinrich W. Ursprung","shortid":"pur18"}],"creationdate":"11 Jan 2014","number":"2014-1","link":[{"url":"","function":"Full text","format":"application/pdf","restriction":null}],"id":null,"title":"Parenthood and productivity of highly skilled labor: evidence from the groves of academe","download":"2"}]

Call for basic author info given part of name
[{"shortid":"par7","name":"Kenneth J. Arrow","first":"Kenneth","middle":"J.","last":"Arrow","suffix":null,"repecurl":""}]
If an error occurs, the output looks like this:

Additional documentation is available once you are received your key. To see which functions are available to you, enter your access code:

To understand an error message, enter your access code: and the error code your received:

Known issues:
  1. Double quotes are not escaped in the JSON output.

More help with the API:
  1. R package
IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.