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In the middle of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, I noticed that there were numbers being released on the number of orphans the outbreak was creating, but no transparent methodology for where those numbers were coming from.

My colleague Anna Popova and I constructed numbers based on age- and gender-specific mortality and fertility rates, and we submitted the paper to the Lancet How do I find a topic, idea? • Go to seminars but not too many (go to at least one real seminar and one Ph.D. work- in-progress seminar a week). • Read but don't .

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(Here it is!) Later, we teamed up with Markus Goldstein to examine the likely impact of the epidemic of maternal mortality (via health worker mortality) and published that as a letter of similar proportions in the Lancet Global Health. (Here’s that one!) Good ideas don’t have to be long ideas.

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Here are some ideas, culled from my experience and that of the Twitter hive mind.

What is a short paper, and where can I publish it? I identified 10 journals that publish short papers RePEc is a central index of economics research, including working papers, can submit their papers to MPRA and get them included in the RePEc database..

I’ve listed them below, with links to the journals, what they call their short papers, and a link to a recent example.

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Hanushek and Woessman had an education paper there in 2011 that has 38 citations. These non-representative examples are intended to demonstrate only that there is a right tail, so if you have a paper that is of interest to the broader research community, it can still get cited if it’s in Economics Letters.

Isn’t this a lot of trouble? Why not just publish on a blog? If you can get your work featured on a popular blog, then overall exposure might be higher than merely publishing in a journal, with less work.

10 journals for publishing a short economics paper | impact evaluations

Different audiences: The journal and the blog post may well reach different audiences. Development Impact will likely reach a very different group of people (with some overlap) than the Lancet.

Depending on the people you want to reach with your research, the journal may be a better fit.

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You’re much less likely to publish a paper about your blog post.

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The letter published by the Lancet was much better as a result of the peer review process.

Is it worth it? If you believe there is value in expanding the audience, in the quality improvement, and if the citations are useful for you professionally, then it may be worthwhile Doing, the lower the standards for execution you will get away with. Three broad Read survey articles in your research field (Journal of Economic Literature,..

My two published letters came out quite quickly and were improved by the publication process.

Repec: research papers in economics

Of course, if you have a really short idea, you can always go for the Journal of Brief Ideas.