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2014-04-14
PhilPapers seeking support through institutional subscriptions
For PhilPapers to survive and thrive, it needs financial support.  In five years, PhilPapers has grown from a side project into the most widely used bibliographical resource in the field.  During this time, many changes have taken place.  David Bourget, the architect of PhilPapers, now has a tenure-track appointment with teaching, research, and service duties in addition to PhilPapers. We need technical staff that can assume David's many roles, from server maintenance and administrative support to application programming and user interface design. A whole team is needed for PhilPapers to thrive and develop to its full potential.

We have considered many different financial models, including asking for donations and requiring subscriptions.  After much consultation, it has become clear to us that the best way forward is a model involving annual subscriptions for large institutions.

Starting June 1, 2014, we ask large institutions (especially universities) to pay an annual subscription fee for their users to have full access to PhilPapers.  Full details about the subscription model, including institutional criteria and fees, can be found on this page.

Users accessing PhilPapers from computers at non-subscribing institutions will have their access limited in various ways.  In the initial stages, these limitations will take the form of banners and data throttling, so that users at these institutions can still use PhilPapers, albeit under non-ideal conditions.  In the longer term, stronger access limitations may be imposed.  Individuals using PhilPapers from non-institutional locations (e.g. from home) will continue to have free access to PhilPapers, as will PhilPapers editors who are signed in using their account.  The PhilPapers Open Access Archive, PhilJobs, and PhilEvents will remain open access.  We believe that this model provides the right balance of open access and financial support.

One reason why the subscription model is appropriate is that PhilPapers replaces indexes sold by commercial vendors that require subscriptions.  We believe that PhilPapers is the best bibliographic service available in philosophy.  It is more complete and more usable than the alternatives, and even on the subscription model it remains much cheaper.

If you think that PhilPapers is worth supporting, please consider suggesting that your library purchase a subscription to PhilPapers.  You can find details on how to contact your university librarian here.  Your support will be important in ensuring a viable future for PhilPapers.

See this page for more information on subscriptions.

David Bourget and David Chalmers
Co-Directors, PhilPapers


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