The NEEO project has created a networked service (Economists Online) providing open access to both historical and recent economics publications. Originally, the aim was to focus on the output of leading European research institutes. In the course of the project, however, leading research institutes from both the US and Australia joined the project. At the official launch Economists Online the portal provided access to well over 72,000 metadata records of which over 20,000 were available as full text. At the launch the publication lists of nearly 1,000 researchers were available. In addition, links to just over 100 datasets were available.
The model for Economists Online is a simple but powerful one. All the academic institutions involved in the project have an institutional repository (IR) - a digital archive of academic work produced by members of the organisation. Research publications (as an electronic copy) are deposited in the researcher's local IR. Economists Online will then pick up (or 'harvest') these publications, making them cross-searchable and accessible from the central portal.