Many people trust RePEc with their email address. RePEc earned this trust, we believe, by not abusing the use of these email addresses. This has been so far an implicit commitment, as no policy was established. This post now puts in words the practice since the inception of RePEc in 1997, and establishes a few additional rules.
Covered email addresses
These rules cover all email addresses that are collected and used by RePEc and its services. These addresses include those contained in metadata from RePEc archives, from author profiles in the RePEc Author Service, and subscriptions to the various NEP mailing lists.
Display of email addresses
RePEc services, if they choose to display email addresses, commit to always encrypt any public email address to prevent harvesting by robots.
Authors registered with the RePEc Author Service have the option to have their email address not displayed. The option is available as a checkbox on the “contact information” page at the RePEc Author Service. In such a case, the RePEc Author Service does not include the address in the metadata disseminated to other RePEc services.
NEP does not display any email address. Only the list maintainer (the NEP editor) has access to subscription details.
Use of email addresses
RePEc archive and series maintainers receive one monthly email from RePEc with statistics, reminders and links pertaining to their material. They may receive additional messages if a problem arises with their archive or metadata.
RePEc authors also receive a monthly email with statistics, latest citations, and news. It is possible to opt out of the monthly messages by replying to the sender. The RePEc Author Service may also send messages if it suspects an author may have some new works waiting to be claimed.
Email addresses are used as user names in the RePEc Author Service. If a RePEc service requires authentication through the RePEc Author Service, it cannot store this email address unless it is explicitly stated. The authentication form must have a link to a list of authorized services. This list is on the RePEc Author Service site.
NEP subscribers are to receive only messages pertaining to their NEP report, plus rare housekeeping messages. This policy may be amended to also include professional messages, like calls for papers, if relevant to the specific field.
None of the gathered email addresses is to be given, for a fee or not, to any third party. A yearly survey, though, may be conducted on questions relevant to the profession and/or RePEc (one call plus one reminder).
Accuracy of email contacts
It is the responsibility of archive and series maintainers to keep contact information current. This is done by maintaining appropriate coordinates in the archive and series templates of their RePEc archive (files ___arch.rdf and ___seri.rdf). Email addresses are required.
Authors and NEP subscribers are asked to maintain current coordinates so as to reduce the workload of RePEc volunteers. The latter may change an person’s email address in the RePEc Author Service or a NEP mailing lists if it appears to be obsolete.