eprint_fields.pl defines all the optional fields which an EPrint object has. These fields all have mappings to the database. There are a variety of field types which you can see here [EPrints_Metadata_fields].
EPrints have a broad range of field types which enforce various constraints. Each field type has it's own method of storing in the database, retriving the value from the database, rendering the value in HTML, and rendering the input component HTML for use in workflows etc.
EPrints also has compound fields. This is a field made up of compound field definations. This allows you to make very powerful data structures without having to worry about the complexities of how they are stored in the database.
Note removing fields from eprint_fields.pl does not usually cause data to be deleted from the database. To add or remove fields from eprint_fields.pl you must run <eprintsroot>/bin/epadmin update_database_structure <repo_id> and then reload you configuration (or restart the webserver).
|name||the identifier used for this field in EPrints. The name used to refer to a field whe you $eprint->value(), as part of a search, in citations etc.|