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FAQ for RePEc rankings

  1. How are rankings computed?

    We computed 31 different rankings accordings to 31 different criteria, and then aggregate them up (after removing the best and the worst) using a harmonic mean of the rank orders. To see the different criteria and the rankings for everyone of them, see the top 5% authors. Click on each column header for a different method. You can also compute alternative rankings by aggregating the rankings differently or choosing a different set of criteria here. Finally, a document describes in detail the ranking procedures.

  2. The link to my ranking in the monthly email does not work. Why?

    The link expires once the next mailing is being sent. Watch your email. Note that you will only get the new link if the email in your profile is current. Please keep in mind that the mailing can take a whole week to prevent an overload of our servers as people check their ranking analysis or their profile.

  3. How can I improve my ranking?

    1. Write more papers. But you knew that.
    2. Make sure your papers are listed on RePEc. If your department is not yet participating with its working paper series, here are the instructions. Also encourage journals that do not yet participate to do the same.
    3. Make sure all your works are listed in your profile. That maximizes your chances of having works cited and contributes to your abstract views and download totals. In particular, do not remove from your profile old versions of your works. This would not remove them from the database, just from your profile. In addition, working paper series often have a higher impact factor than journals.
    4. Make sure your name variations in your profile are accurate, that is they cover all possible ways a publisher may call you.
    5. We only add citations when we have a high degree in confidence that they correspond to the proper work. For lower degrees of confidence, you can help in determining whether they cite the right work. Log into your profile and click on citations and see what is offered.
    6. If you have a homepage, link to your profile on IDEAS or EconPapers, and/or put such links in your email signature.
  4. How is the citation count performed?

    Reference extraction and citation linking is done by the CitEc project. See there for details. This data is then used, discarding self-citations and citations by different version of the same paper, to compute totals. There is also a RePEc Blog post that can be of interest.

  5. Can I get the rankings of someone else?

    Not from us. Ask this person directly, we consider rankings to be private, except for the top 5% who have every reason to be proud of being listed.

  6. My citation count went down. How is this possible?

    This can happen when you remove items from your profile, when a publisher removes some items from the database (either refering or citing), or when we notice that two citing or cited papers are different versions of the same work. It can also happen that we remove wrongly attributed citations (something you can also do: log into your profile, then click on "citations" and "identified").

  7. Why is my citation count in RePEc lower than in other services?

    References are only extracted from papers that are available online freely and could be parsed. We have no budget, and thus do not purchase such data or subscriptions. Some commercial publishers explicitely prohibit us from displaying references, as they are considered by them as part of the copyrighted work. Others see the value of getting links to their works and provide us directly with references. As you see, things are very uneven, and unless publishers can be convinced to release more of their records to the public, we are bound to analyze proportionally more working papers than journal articles, which is mostly recent material (and thus added value compared to services that only look at articles). If we were not publishing the reference lists, just making counts, numbers would be higher, but our service would be much degraded by the lack of crosslinking of references. For more details about the citation analysis, see CitEc or this RePEc Blog post.
    Note that we only include citations for which we have a high confidence that they match the appropriate paper. For those with lower levels of confidence, you can help us: log into your profile, click on "citations", and approve or reject our suggestions. You can also help us by adding missing reference lists using this form.
    Finally keep in mind that for ranking purposes, we do not count self-citations (but we list them), and we count only once when different versions of the same work cite you. Most other services do not perform these distinctions, unfortunately.

  8. How are multiple affiliations treated?

    Each affiliation gets a weight, with all weights summing to 100%. Authors set those weights themselves. If they have not done so, a formula is applied: if possible, one half is reserved for the affiliation whose URL domain is the closest to the author's email address or web page URL. The rest is allocated according to a formula that gives less weight to affiliations with many authors. For details, see this blog post.

  9. In regional rankings, what does the number in square brackets mean?

    Authors and institutions are ranked within a region using scores that are weighted for multiregional affiliations (that is, their score is attributed to each region according to the weights) and computed by ranking authors or institutions among those of the same region. The ranks in square brackets are regional ranks if they were simply extracted from the worldwide rankings. Those to rankings can differ.

  10. Why does the regional ranking differ from an extract of the world ranking? Or my am I ahead of my colleague in one ranking but behind in an another?

    1. Aggregate rankings are based on a harmonic mean of rankings for each criterion. Those individual rankings differ between worldwide and regional groups. As an example, an author who is much more cited than his regional peers is ranked far ahead in the worldwide rankings, but no such gap would appear in the regional rankings.
    2. For authors with multiple affiliations in different regions, only part of their score will count towards their regional ranking. See above how those weights are computed, or see this blog post.
    In any case, the ranking as it would result from an exerpt from the world ranking is listed in square brackets next to each regional score. Note that their maybe rankings reversals between the regional and worldwide rankings. To see this, take an example of two economists from the same region and seven ranking criteria:
    Economist A:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
    Economist B:  7, 7, 7, 3, 4, 5, 6,
    As the top and bottom ranks are dropped, the harmonic mean from (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) is 3.5 for Economist A and 5.5 (from (7, 7, 4, 5, 6) for Economist B. In the regional ranking, assuming these are the two top economists for each criterion, A has (1, 1, 2, 2, 2) for a mean of 1.43 and B has (1, 1, 1, 2, 2) for a mean of 1.25. Thus A is ahead in the world ranking, and B is ahead in the regional ranking. This happens because A is much ahead of B for some criteria and little behind for some others in the world ranking.
  11. How in the ranking of women performed?

    As gender is not declared during registration, it is inferred from the first name using a gender likelihood database. For low likelihoods, an exception file is used.

  12. Are historical rankings available?

    Sure, here, listed by month.

  13. Where do you get the impact factors from?

    Nowhere, we compute them ourselves. See the series sections on the rankings pages.

  14. I am not listed in the rankings, what is wrong?

    1. Are you registered with RePEc?
    2. If you registered this month, please wait for the next refresh of the rankings.
    3. Are you sure you would score high enough to be listed. Only the top authors are publicly listed.
    4. If you believe you should be in a regional ranking, do you have an affiliation listed? This should help locate you in a region.
    5. If your affiliation is not listed in the database (EDIRC), its URL is not in a geographically recognizable domain, and the same applies to your email address and your homepage, you cannot be attributed to a region.
  15. How are authors aggregated for institutional rankings?

    There scores are simply added. In the case of multiple affiliations, an author's score is distributed across affiliations. The only exception is the h-index, where it corresponds, for an institution, to the number of authors with an individual h-index at least that high.

  16. Should students with papers also sign up, or will they hurt my institution's ranking?

    Yes. As all individual scores are added, and not averaged by the number of authors, everyone contributes positively.
    The fine print: in very rare circumstances, a student may hurt: if most others have multiple affiliations, due to the formula used to distribute scores across affiliations.

  17. Where can I get more details about how the rankings are computed?

    This document should satisfy you.

  18. How is determined who a young economist is?

    Author profiles do not contain information about the date of birth or the date of the last graduate degree. However, the date of the first publication, be it a working paper or an article is know. This date is used to determine who a young economist is. Quite obviously, there is a lot of measurement error for the youngest ones, both because of the uncertain dating, and because these economists have relatively few publications. More in the RePEc blog.

  19. How are field rankings calculated?

    Authors do not declare what field(s) they work in, thus we have to impute them. We do that from the proportion of working papers announced through NEP that have been assigned to a particular field report. This proportion is then applied to the various ranking criteria and then aggregated. Authors (and institutions) are then ranking within the field. Not that these proportions may sum to more than 100% if papers have been selected for several NEP reports.

Back to the FAQ for authors

Comments and requests for additions are welcome. Send them to Christian Zimmermann.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.