Help & About the Econolog

 

About

The Econolog collects data from hundreds of economics blogs and then does useful and interesting things with that data. We hope it will be of use to both readers and writers of blogs.

 

Contact

Contact Rosie if you have any questions about the Econolog not covered in this page.

 

Statistics and rankings

Blogs

All blog statistics are calculated over a 90 day window.

Blogs are ranked on the number of incoming links from other economics blogs (in posts; not as part of the blogroll). Word counts, % complexity, Flesch, Kincaid and Fog readability statistics are calculated by looking at the posts from each feed that we have in the database. Blogs that don’t include the full text of their posts in their feeds won’t have accurate stats (they won’t influence the rankings of other blogs or paper / link citations as much, either).

Statistics are calculated once a week (it’s an in-depth process!). If you’ve had some really popular posts over the past couple of days then don’t despair if your ranking doesn’t change immediately.

Journals

Journals are ranked on the number of posts from economics blogs that link to one or more of their papers - not on the number of papers in the index.

If you see a line saying that there are “no direct links” to papers on a journal summary page then it’s possible that we aren’t picking up papers from that journal properly: this is because the Econolog only follows links that lead to the URLs we know are associated with journals. The solution is for the relevant publisher to send us a list of relevant URLs / journal names.  

My blog moved!

Let us know when you update your blog and we’ll update the index.  

Making your blog Econolog friendly

The basics

Is your blog registered with the Econolog? Go to the search page, select “Blogs” and type in part of the name of your blog. If it doesn’t appear then your blog probably isn’t on the list of blogs that the Econolog indexes.

The Econolog only indexes blogs with substantial economic content (or content that would be of interest to somebody working in economics). To suggest that a blog be added email Ros.

If your blog does appear, then perhaps we’re collecting the wrong feed? Click through to the details page (just click on the blog title). Click on the orange feed icon - is this the correct URL of your RSS feed?

RSS Feeds

The Econolog collects data from your blog using its RSS feed. If it’s not in the feed, the Econolog can’t see it. Ideally your feed will contain full-length posts (not just excerpts), including any links in those posts.

If you use a feed republishing service that isn’t Feedburner then let us know. If you do use such a service then the citation numbers for your posts will be wrong (because we think your posts are at URLs like http://url.of.republishing.service/, but everybody else is linking straight to the real URL).

At a pinch - say if you really don’t want to give everybody full-text posts in your feed - why not make another feed just for the Econolog and drop us a line?  

Markup

The Econolog organizes blog posts into four different types: reviews of papers, conference reports, original research and everything else. It can’t do this automatically - it needs a little prompting from you, the blogger.

Why do we do it? Posts that are reviews of a particular paper can be listed above posts that cite the paper in passing. Posts about a particular conference can be grouped together. Original research can be timestamped and archived properly.

We’re still working on these benefits... but it’s good practice to start making the changes on your blog now. At worst it makes your posts easier to find.

Reviews of papers

If a post is about one paper in particular (or even multiple papers) then you should mark as such. To do this, simply add rev=’review’ to the HTML of the links that points to the paper(s) that you are reviewing, like so:

<a rev='review' href='url of paper'>Some paper</a>''

Alternatively you can use the hReview microformat:

<div class='hreview'>
<h2 class='summary'>This paper rocks!</h2>
<a class='item url' href='url of paper'>Some paper</a>''
</div>

Conference reports

The simplest way to do this is to tag your post with 'conference'.

Alternatively (better) add rel=’conference’ the HTML of the link that points to the conference website, like so:

<a rel='conference' href='url of conference website'>Some conference</a>''

Original research

Original research posts are those that contain actual research data (think preprints on a blog). The data in question should be yours.

Simply tag your post with 'original_research'

Most popular posts widget

 

Examples

Instructions

Want a list of your most popular posts to put in your blog’s sidebar? The code below will do just that - just copy and paste it into your blog template (remember to change the base_url part, though, as described below).

<div>
<script type='text/javascript' src='http://www.econolog.net/widget.php?base_url=http://www.ghastlyfop.com'></script>
</div>

Change the part after base_url= to whatever the address of your blog front page is, without the filename. e.g. base_url=http://myblog.blogspot.com

For example, the most popular posts from Marginal Revolution are:

<div>
<script type='text/javascript' src='http://www.econolog.net/widget.php?base_url=http://www.marginalrevolution.com'></script>
</div>

Stylin'

When the page is loaded the widget gets replaced by HTML from the Econolog database. That HTML looks something like:

<ul class='pg_widget_ul'>
<li class='pg_widget_bullet'><a class='pg_widget_link' href='[url to post 1]'>[post title 1]</a></li>
<li class='pg_widget_bullet'><a class='pg_widget_link' href='[url to post 2]'>[post title 2]</a></li>
..
</ul>

This means that you can style the bulletpoints and links any way you like by adding lines to your existing CSS stylesheet - or just copy the example below.

For example, to make the links bright red (and bold):

<style>
.pg_widget_link {
   color: red;
   font-weight: bold;
}
</style>
<div>
<script type='text/javascript' src='http://www.econolog.net/widget.php?base_url=http://www.ghastlyfop.com'></script>
</div>

On a more advanced note

You can optionally supply a limit parameter specifying the number of links to return:

<div>
<script type='text/javascript' src='http://www.econolog.net/widget.php?limit=20&base_url=http://www.ghastlyfop.com'></script>
</div>

... would return the 20 most popular posts instead of the default 10.  

API

The Econolog API is REST based. It returns Atom feeds (the default) or JSON objects. Atom is a good choice for, say, integrating with Moveable Type (just use something like Feeds.App). JSON might be a better bet for more complicated mashups.

The base URL is:

http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=<content type> 

Where content type is blog, post etc. (see later sections)

If you’re interested in search results then you can use the Econolog’s OpenSearch interface.

Common settings

Some other variables that might come in handy:

format=< atom | json > 
Format to return results in. 
callback=<function name> 
Callback if you want JSON. 
limit=<how many results to return, max 100> 
By default limit is set to 100. 
start=<skip first x results> 
By default start is set to 0. 
category=<category to retrieve results from> 
By default you will retrieve data from all categories. 

Types of API call

At the moment you can use the API to retrieve terms, posts, papers and blogs.

Terms

Set type to 'term' if you want to retrieve top terms.

There are no required variables, but you can optionally specific the category from which to return top terms by using the category variable.

By default this returns an atom feed, where the title of each entry is the term and the content is a comma delimited list of the post_ids that contain that term. You can retrieve those posts with type=posts and the post_id variable (see the posts API section)

Terms will be returned in “weight” order: i.e. terms found in more posts appear first. You can use start and limit to page through results. Note that the top terms returned might not match those on the Econolog front page: this is because on the front page the terms are re-weighted so that duplicate posts don’t count for as much.

Some examples:

Get the top terms across the whole site:

http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=terms

Get the top 5 terms being used by Energy and Environment blogs in JSON format:

http://www.econoloh/api.php?type=terms&category=EnergyandEnvironment&limit=5

Posts

Set type to 'post' if you want to retrieve posts.

There are a couple of filters and orderings that you can apply to posts:

timeframe = <retrieve posts published in given timeframe - one of 1w | 1m | 3m | 1y | 10y > 
base_url = <baseurl (urlencoded) of post permalinks - e.g. http://someblog.blogger.com> 
min_links = <minimum number of incoming links aka citations> 
order_by = <one of published_on | added_on | cited | post_freq> 
term = <see âtermsâ section below> 
The following options are mutually exclusive... 
post_id = <one or more Econolog post_ids, comma delimited> 
citing_url = <url (urlencoded) of post being cited - e.g. http://someblog.blogger.com/2006/05/21/a_sample_post.html> 
citing_paper = <paper_id of paper being cited - e.g. 2755> 
citing_doi = <doi of paper being cited OR substring thereof, see below> 

Using citing_doi you can fetch posts citing a paper with a particular DOI or all papers from a particular publisher (if you know the DOI pattern that they use).

For example, to fetch all posts that cite BioMedCentral papers (doi pattern 10.1186) http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=post&citing_doi=10.1186

Citation metadata is included in the JSON output in the ‘citation’ array and as link elements with rel=’related’ in the Atom output.

The terms variable can hold a list of comma delimited terms (or a single term). It is designed to be used with the terms API call.

The posts that are returned will all contain one or more of the terms in terms. If you set order_by to post_freq then the posts will be returned in order of the number of terms that they contain (e.g. posts matching two terms will come before posts matching a single term).

By default results are ordered by date published.

Some examples:

Latest posts from the Development and Growth category:

http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=post&category=developmentandgrowth

10 most popular posts on Calculated Risk:

http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=post&order_by=cited&limit=10&base_url=http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/

Most popular posts this month:

http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=post&order_by=cited&timeframe=1m

Trackbacks for paper with paper_id 2755 (see the “Papers” section)

http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=post&citing_paper=2755 

Papers

Set type to 'paper' if you want to retrieve papers.

At the moment functionality is very limited.

There’s one required option - ids_only=1.

By default this returns results in JSON format. You’ll get back an array that looks like so:

{
'doi_id':
{<doi> : <paper_id>, <doi> : <paper_id> ...},
'arxiv_id':
{<OAI id> : <paper_id>, <OAI id> : <paper_id> ...},
'pubmed_id':
{<PMID> : <paper_id>, <PMID> : <paper_id> ...}
}

where paper_id is the identifier given to the paper by the Econolog, and which you can use like this:

http://www.econolog.net/paper.php?paper_id=<paper_id>
e.g.
http://www.econolog.net/paper.php?paper_id=2757

Alternatively, use format=text to get back a plain text list of DOIs (this is only in there for backwards compatability reasons - usually format only accepts “json” or “atom”).

Beware: the complete list of papers in JSON format is around 160kb. PLEASE USE A CACHING MECHANISM IN ANY SCRIPTS to avoid being throttled. The list changes very little from day to day: updating any cache weekly would be sufficient for most applications.

Blogs

Set type to 'blog' if you want to retrieve blogs.

At the moment there aren’t any filters or orderings to apply here, other than the basic ‘category’.

By default results are ordered by blog popularity.

Some examples:

To retrieve first one hundred blogs from database:

http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=blog

Retrieve first ten Finance and Banking blogs:

http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=blog&category=financeandbanking&limit=10

Retrieve next ten:

http://www.econolog.net/api.php?type=blog&category=financeandbanking&limit=10&start=10