Working Papers in Economics FAQ

Who can contribute a Rensselaer Working Paper in Economics?

All faculty and graduate students in the Department of Economics can submit papers. Former graduate students are also encouraged to submit papers based on their dissertation research. Visitors and seminar speakers are also invited to contribute papers.

Are the working papers refereed?

Papers are accepted at the discretion of the working papers editor, but there is no formal refereeing process.

How do I submit a paper? What file formats are acceptable?

I can accept files in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat pdf. I will add a cover page to the paper. You do not need to make this page yourself. Please provide an abstract and JEL codes for your paper.

How do I know if my paper is ready to submit?

If you would be happy with the paper being permanently available publicly, then it is ready to be submitted.

I have received comments on my paper. Can I revise my working paper?

The usual custom is to only change working papers if significant errors are found, not just to improve the original paper.

My paper has been published. Do I need to take down my working paper?

There is usually no need to do so, as the significant differences that will be introduced into the published paper through the refereeing process, make it different to the working paper version.

What are the advantages of contributing a paper to Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics?

A readily accessible online version of your paper in a formal working paper series facilitates easy reception of comments, distribution of your ideas, and citation of your paper before the long journal or book publication process is completed. Because the series is cataloged in the RePEc system you will receive far more downloads than if you just post the paper on your own website. The Department will gain from having a visible working paper series that is heavily downloaded and cited. The series is ranked by the RePEc system on the basis of abstract views, downloads, and citations, and is already achieving increasing prestige. Data on RePEc working papers will soon be included in EconLit. Department rankings based on RePEc citations are also beginning to appear.

What is RePEc?

RePEc is a volunteer maintained international database of formally and informally published material in economics. The system allows searches of abstracts and paper downloads via a number of portals such as IDEAS and EconPapers. The system also compiles detailed statistics on economists, series, departments etc. via the LogEc and CitEc. The system is decentralized - data on individual papers is maintained on the series publishers' websites in a special format called ReDif.

Why can't I see my paper online yet?

It usually takes a couple of days for new papers to be absorbed into the RePEc system which uses an automated update system similar to those used by Google and other search engines. Only then are abstract pages and the relevant links formed automatically using the content in our ReDif file.

Why should I register with the RePEc Author Service?

The RePEc Author Service allows you to create a profile that links your publications to your name and institutional affiliation. You will be provided with a monthly report of abstract views and downloads of your publications through the RePEc system. Citations and downloads will only be attributed to the department if the paper authors are registered with the RePEc Author Service.

I am worried that I will be plagiarized if I place my paper online.

I think the contrary is true. Online publication makes stealing your ideas without credit harder for journal and proposal referees and others.

How do I cite a Rensselaer Working Paper?

Please use the following or a similar format:

Smith A. (2004) The economics of donuts, Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics, 0450.


This page is maintained by David Stern. If you have comments or suggestions please e-mail me at sternd@rpi.edu.