How RePEc deals with author data

RePEc is all about the open dissemination of information. Most information is about publications, and as this originates with the publishers, RePEc simply relays what they provide. There is therefore not much to say about data ownership or copyright.

Things are a little different for authors. When they create a profile in the RePEc Author Service, they do so with the understanding that this profile will be public and visible on the various RePEc services. Still, there is always a private component to this data, and here is how RePEc deals with it.

Data use: Within RePEc, author data is used to publish authors profiles on CitEc, EconPapers and IDEAS. Also, the co-authorship network is analyzed on CollEc. Finally, author data is used on the RePEc Genealogy and for author and institution rankings.

Passwords: The passwords used for RePEc accounts are never kept in clear text. As should be practice with any password management, they are encrypted with salt. This prevents the reverse-engineering of an encrypted password. This means that passwords are not sent through email in clear, passwords reset by requesting a link that is sent to the registered address. If that address, is not available anymore, request a change from the administrator, who can change addresses but not passwords.

Email address: The registered author can choose not to make the email address public. It can, however, be useful to have a visible email address, so that other economists can find a way to contact the author. RePEc services try to make the public email addresses difficult to harvest by robots. RePEc does not provide email lists for free or money.

Bad email address: If emails from RePEc bounce hard (not a temporary problem or a vacation bounce, but may include when the email provider blocks RePEc emails), RePEc makes an effort to rectify the address. Then, it asks registered co-authors, students and advisors for new coordinates. A notice it also put on the public profiles. To spare the administrator these steps, it is always appreciated that authors preemptively change their address when they anticipate a move. Note that profiles with bad email addresses do not count towards the rankings scores of their affiliations.

Affiliations: The registrant is responsible for maintaining their affiliations. The RePEc Author Service administrator does not add affiliations, but removes affiliations upon request of an administrator of that institution.

Notice of death: We appreciate notices about the death of a registered author. We add a mention to the profile and maintain it should any works be published and added posthumously.

Rankings: We understand that some registered authors do not want their ranking performance revealed to outsiders. For this reason, only the top ranked authors are listed on the ranking pages. Similarly, RePEc does not reveal individual rankings to administrators.

Automatic email opt-out: Registered economists receive occasional automatic emails about newly discovered works they may have authored. They can opt out of these alerts by logging into the RePEc Author Service, go into the “research” menu and then follow the “search settings” link.

Automatic profile deletion: Should a profile have no works listed and have an invalid email address, it will automatically be deleted, as it does not appear to serve any purpose. Fraudulent, spam, and inappropriate accounts are also deleted at the discretion of the administrator, including accounts that are not in the name of a person.

Profile deletion requests: Registered authors can delete their profile in two ways: 1) log in to the RePEc Author Service and click on the “delete” button at the end of the menu; 2) request by email to the RePEc Author Service administrator. Note that a profile deletion means that RePEc services will not display the profile of this author (give them a few days for the deletion), but the works will remain, as they are under the authority of the publisher. A deleted account can be reinstated upon request (email to RePEc Author Service administrator).

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