RePEc is essentially a large bibliographic database. Thus it needs data about bibliographic items. As RePEc has no employee and can only rely on volunteers, it had to find a way to reduce the cost of data input to a minimum. It succeeded in the sense that this cost is shifted to those that benefit the most from having their publications listed on RePEc: the publishers. We call such publishers “RePEc archive maintainers.” They can be commercial publishers, university presses, economics departments, research centers, central banks, societies or other organizations that have some form of publication relevant to Economics.
This is how RePEc archive maintainers proceed: They maintain sets of flat text files following a particular format called ReDIF. There are different formats for different types of documents. For example, the template describing a working paper would look like this:
Template-Type: ReDIF-Paper 1.0
Author-Name: Hildegrund Muesli
Author-Workplace-Name: University of Upper Elbonia
Author-Name: Adalbrecht Vollkorn
Author-Workplace-Name: Institute for Grandiose Research
Title: The Economics of Gizmos: Grandiose Results
Abstract: Gizmos have become more common with the advent of cybermarkets. This paper explains how banking regulation, demographics and global climate change have increased the demand for gizmos.
Keywords: Location, Location, Location
There are other templates for articles, chapters, books, software components, series and archives. For RePEc-internal uses, people and institutions also have templates, all with unique identifiers (handles) that allow for cross-linking. These templates are then placed on the website or the anonymous ftp site of the publisher, and RePEc services visit them on a regular basis, typically daily, to check for changes. This allows for very fast turn-around times.
Complete instructions on how to proceed to open a RePEc archive can be found here. If your institution is not yet listed among the about 900 participating archives, consider following these instructions.