Distributed Cataloging on the Internet: the RePEc project
Cataloging online documents requires a finer level of granularity than many other objects. Collecting that data is a costly process to achieve and manage. One possible approach towards cataloging these resources is to get a community of providers involved in cataloging the materials that they provide. This paper introduces RePEc of http://netec.wustl.edu/RePEc, as an example for such an approach. RePEc is mainly a catalog of research papers in Economics. In May 1999, it is based on set of over 80 archives which all work independently but yet are interoperable. They together provide data about almost 60,000 preprints and over 10,000 published articles. In principle each institution participating in RePEc provides its own papers by providing and maintaining an archive. The key issue of the paper is to evaluate the success of that decentralized approach in providing data of reasonable quality
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