Economics Network CHEER Virtual Edition

Volume 9, Issue 1, 1995

Economics WPA Image

The Economics Working Paper Archive

Tired of asking colleagues for working papers and then never receiving them, or receiving them too late? Tired of hunting for that working paper that you know you got but filed it with all those unwanted ones? Want immediate, free international distribution for your own great works? We have a solution for all thes problems! is an electronic working paper archive available to all economists with Internet access of any kind. It is free to use - there are no charges.

The archive (which has been operating since July 1993) provides an automated system for archiving and distributing working papers in all areas of economics. Papers may be retrieved with e-mail commands, via ftp, gopher or WWW. Search facilities are available to find papers by author, title, subject - or words used in the abstract. The archive also maintains self-subscribed distribution lists to inform participants of new submissions in their areas of interest. The archive is sectioned by JEL categories, so macro types do not have to see micro papers if they so desire.

The Working Paper Archive is not moderated. It is for your working papers - so that you can distribute your working papers to the world, without the hassle of mailing lists, postage and duplication costs. It is most definitely NOT an electronic journal. It is based on the very successful preprint archive in Physics ( which is maintained by Paul Ginsparg. That archive has over 500 papers submitted each month, has been in operation since 1991 - see Science, February 26th 1993 and Scientific American November 1994 - and it has virtually replaced hard copy 'pre-print' distribution in high energy physics.

Please join us. Complementarities abound. The more people use the archive the more useful it will be to each user. No longer will you have to store those working papers - the WPA will do it for you, and with a better search technology. Everything (searching, retrieving, submitting) can be done via e-mail, as well as ftp, gopher or WWW. There is even a cross reference ability, much like the Social Science Citation Index.

Copyrights to papers remain with the authors or their assignees, identified by their e-mail address. Archive users may download papers and produce them for their own personal use, but downloading of papers for any other activity, including reposting to other electronic bulletin boards or archives, may not be done without the written consent of the authors. It is the authors' responsibility to notify the archive managers when they wish to have their paper removed.

Using the WPA

The archive may be accessed with e-mail, ftp, gopher or WWW. The following addresses should be used.

gopher gopher
anonymous ftp ftp

Getting help by e-mail

To get help by e-mail send a message to econ- Enter the word help for the subject but leave the message body empty.

To find papers by e-mail

Unlike some other e-mail servers the WPA operates on commands on the subject line of e-mail messages. To find papers by a particular author, say Hal Varian, you just put find varian on the subject line.

Papers on the archive are in JEL categories, and are organised by year, month and the number of the submission. So the following entry, sent to will get you paper 003 from the January 1994 part of the Computational Economics section: get 9401003.abs

Some papers are text submissions, some are TeX, some are WordPerfect and most are available as PostScript files.

To get papers using ftp

To get 'Some Economics of User Interfaces' follow the steps below:

Name: anonymous
Password: your e-mail address
ftp> cd econ-wp/comp/papers/9401
ftp> bin
ftp> get
ftp> quit
This paper is a compressed PostScript file. The uncompress program is available on nearly every computer, including Amigas. The ghostscript program is available for DOS, Windows, Mac, etc., and can be used to view and/or print the paper. With gopher or WWW, viewing the paper is simply a 'click'.

To subscribe to the Abstract Notification Service

Send an e-mail message to giving as the subject the word 'subscribe'.

You can be more refined and subscribe only to categories that interest you - currently there are 23 areas mostly among JEL categories. If you wanted only economic history you would send the subscribe command to ewp-eh rather than econ-wp. These subscriptions are for notification only. They are not discussion lists, and the ONLY mail messages you will get by subscribing will be announcements - title, author and an abstract of the paper. Abstracts are e-mailed daily whenever there is a submission or revision. For more information on the distribution lists send e-mail

Subject: get help_lists

Submitting to WPA

The submission format

For the details send e-mail

Subject: get help_submit

Submission always requires an e-mail message but papers can be in any format - Word, WordPerfect, TeX or plain ASCII text. In the e-mail message there are three sections to the submission, delimited by \\. Everything before the first \\ is ignored. Between the first and second \\ is the Title, Author and other bibliographic information. Between the second and third is an abstract, and after the third is the paper, or instructions concerning an ftp submission (using the fput command rather than the put command).

An Example of the e-mail message format

Title: My Macro Paper
Author: Me, Myself and I
Institution: Somewhere
Commenst: WordPerfect 5.1 file
Keyword: irrational expectations
EWPA-References: ewp-mac/7601001
Report-No: adamsmith 1
(no more than 11 lines!)
abstract (no more than 25 lines!)
Detailed comments about printing the paper here.

Using ftp to put the paper on the archive

Name: anonymous - Password: e-mail address
ftp> cd econ-wp/incoming
ftp> bin
ftp> put mypaper.doc
ftp> quit

Mailing the submission message

Subject: fput

You will get back a message indicating the paper number assigned, e.g. ewp-mac/9501055 meaning section macro, year 1995, month 01 (January), number 005.

There is a test section, ewp-test, so that you can try it out. It is easy for plain ascii text submission - just put the body of your paper after the last \\. More than one file can be submitted so that your figures can be separate files. Just ftp all the files and put all the names afte the fput in the subject line. You can also submit PostScript files if you like. We create PostScript for any submission that is not PostScript. Feel free to mail us questions or to get help with an initial submission, or to give us comments.

Bob Parks
University of Washington
Larry Blume
Cornell University

Editor's note

This is a slightly modifed version of a handout prepared for the ASSA conference session "What's on the Internet? A Demonstration". I am grateful to Bob and Larry for permission to reproduce it in CHEER.

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