License and copyright
There is no license agreement required for the NBER online service, however the working papers themselves are protected by copyright.
Working papers on the NBER web site are copyright by the author(s), not by the NBER itself. Users may download, view and print papers for their personal use, or to give to their colleagues or students, to place in a the subscriber's library collection, or in a university vended or sponsored course pack, or for other fair use appropriate for discussion papers. Short extracts, not exceeding two paragraphs, may be quoted provided clear attribution is given. Subscribers may download any or all papers for archival storage, with subsequent use constrained to fair use as noted above during the subscription term and thereafter. Requests for permissions beyond fair use should be made to the author(s). Current author addresses can often be obtained here.
Abstracts may be copied into printed or electronic bibliographic aids without special permission, provided clear attribution is given.
Students and employees of the subscriber site may access the NBER web site via proxy or other devices under subscriber control, regardless of the user's actual physical location. Walk-ins and other users must be physically present at the subscriber's location.
Subscribers have access to all the papers on the web site for the duration of their subscription, and may retain copies of papers acquired during the term of their subscription after that subscription lapses, with no obligation to erase or destroy anything merely because the subscription has expired.
There is no present plan to remove papers from the web site on the basis of age, however from time to time papers have been replaced or removed at the request of authors. Any subscriber storing papers for later retrieval should have a mechanism in place for detecting revisions so that readers are provided with current versions. The LOCKSS system has permission to collect, preserve, and serve this Archival Unit.
Robots and Screen-Scrapers
The following are the only interfaces suggested for robotic access to the working papers:
where C is one of W, T, or H and NNNN is a 4 or 5 digit working paper number. Any user implementing a robotic access mechanism is requested to discuss it's action with me. These URLs may also be used for links from reading lists to particular papers. From time to time individual paper requests may be satisfied with temporary links. Please do not incorporate temporary links into long-lived pages, use the interface described here instead.
Libraries wishing to place links to our site in their online access systems may use the URLs above, and also
Note that since our search engine is freely available, "federated search" vendors do not need special permission to access our site.
Working papers are issued in one of three series, Historical, Technical or General, and the leading letter in the paper designation is H, T or W according to the series. So w0001 is the first paper in the general series.
We understand that the general working paper series has been assigned the ISSN 0898-2937. The ISSN 1073-2489 appears to refer to the Historical Working Papers.
Abstracts and other bibliographic information may be copied into printed or electronic bibliographic aids without special permission, provided clear attribution is given.
A machine readable version of our bibliographic database (including the text of abstracts) is available in RePEc format at http://www.nber.org/RePEc/nbr/. Documentation for that format is available at http://ideas.repec.org/stepbystep.html. Virtually all economics working papers from all institutions world-wide are available in that format. You are free to incorporate information from the database into your online bibliographic system.
There is an RIS format bibliography appropriate for Endnote at wwpinfo/all_nber_working_papers.ris
Unlike RIS we have no master BibTeX file. The only way to get a .bib file for a WP is
A bibliographic file in XML format is also available from:
http://www.nber.org/wwpinfo/googleXML_h.xml (Historical papers: ~150k)
http://www.nber.org/wwpinfo/googleXML_t.xml (Technical Working papers: ~300k)
http://www.nber.org/wwpinfo/googleXML_w.xml (Working papers, main series: BIG: >60MB)
See the XML header for any of these pages for more information on the NLM Journal standard which Google Scholar prefers.
In 2020, we followed recommendations from OCLC to separate MARC records for print hardcopy working papers from the MARC records for the online versions.
A MARC record for the electronic version of any working paper is available at:
and for the hardcopy version at:
and the entire collection at
sorted in reverse order of distribution date. Also, recent working papers are available in monthly files in the directory
However, subject headings are JEL rather than Library of Congress. We are interested in following up suggestions for obtaining LCSHs.
We no longer support a Z39.50 server, but would consider doing so if we had a source of support. Please contact me if you have a suggestion.
If you use a bibliographic service that needs cooperation from our server to function correctly, please send us information about what our server needs to do. We are quite interested in supporting such functions, but need to be supplied with detailed specifications for the URLs we are expected to respond to.
Authorization and Limits
We authorize subscribers by IP address range and/or domain name. Details are at "Why I may need your network number". For single subscribers login/password authorization is available, however we never provide that in addition to address or domain name authorization. A backstop technology using email address allows all users with email addresses in the subscribers domain to receive full text, regardless of their network location.
Electronic reserve rooms serving large courses are especially encouraged to cache copies of the papers themselves, rather than merely linking to our site. This will avoid overloading our server and your Internet link.
Library logos and download statistics
If you wish the library logo to be displayed on the bibliographic page (so that your users are aware that the library is paying for their access) please send email@example.com a URL for the logo and we will add it to bibliographic pages served to your site. A gif file 80 pixels wide by 15-20 pixels high is most appropriate but the browser will accommodate any reasonable size. This logo will be incorporated by reference, and will load from your site each time one of your users is shown an abstract.
The series "NBER Working Papers" incorporates the separately numbered series "Development of the American Economy" and "NBER Technical Working Papers" in our search facility and for purposes of serials cataloging.
A page with your subscriber information (company name, contact, expiration date, etc) is always available at http://www.nber.org/subscriber_info.pl. This page is dynamically generated depending upon the IP address of of the requesting site. Statistical usage information can be added to that page if you email a request to the address noted here.
Babson College reports that the following configuration of Ezproxy works well for them:
T National Bureau of Economic Research
Please direct questions about authentication to Daniel Feenberg, feenberg_at_nber.org.
Last Modified: 29 June 2020