Institutional repositories and RePEc

More and more institutions are adopting mandates that force their researchers to put their works, published or not, in institutional repositories. The idea is that this research should be openly accessible to all, instead of being locked by the password of an online publisher. Such mandates are, however, of little use if those works cannot be found by others. Search indexes like Google (Scholar) or OAIster are often not capable of sorting efficiently for the purposes of a researcher. It is therefore important that works from institutional repositories be also indexed in field specific indexes, like RePEc for economics.

RePEc does not house files, it only indexes them. Thus, the goal is not to push PDFs to RePEc, but rather to push the appropriate metadata about those PDFs. Software used in institutional repositories typically generates metadata, unfortunately not in the format required by RePEc (which predates any other format). Thus, metadata needs to be converted. We make available a variety of scripts, typically written in perl that are easily customizable to local needs, in particular for DigitalCommons, DSpace and EPrints. Other converters are always welcome to be added to the list.

5 Responses to Institutional repositories and RePEc

  1. ostephens says:

    Surely it would be more efficient to change RePEc to consume some standard, commonly used, formats, rather than get every single repository to output in a format unique to RePEc?

  2. O. Stephens: That would obviously be a good solution for some, but not others. The format that RePEc uses is extremely simple, thus manageable by people with little skills. It also has the advantage of being very stable. It has not changed in 12 years.

    RePEc could also accept multiple formats. But that means that they need to be converted anyway for the metadata to be used. One should note that RePEc is pretty much defined by the format it uses, as that is the only thing that binds this informal organization. Finally, the philosophy of RePEc has always been that the cost of data entry is borne by the publishers, who are those that benefit most from RePEc. We have no in house resources that can help them beyond what volunteers contribute. So ultimately, it is all a question of finding volunteers to do what you want.

  3. Dear Repec, are there any updates regarding institutional repositories and Repec integration?

  4. Dear RePEc team, the link to Digital Commons in this post seems to be broken. Is there no longer a DC -> rdf conversion script?

  5. The link has been updated, thanks.

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