The MarXiv Goes Begging
ARXIV SURVIVAL TIED TO NEW FUNDING MODEL
"The keepers of the arXiv, the physics community's most popular e-print server, are trying to gather financial contributions from society journal publishers and academic institutions that use it. The aim is to lessen arXiv's dependence on the Cornell University library, which has maintained the website since 2001, when it moved with its founder, physicist Paul Ginsparg, from Los Alamos National Laboratory.
TRANSLATION: They are out of money
"My rough understanding," says Ginsparg, "is that in this current era of declining university budgets across the board, it's difficult for the library to maintain an indefinite commitment to unilateral support of a resource which provides so much benefit outside of the university."
TRANSLATION: Cornell library told them to pick other pockets, MarXiv costs too much.
"Simeon Warner, who is in charge of arXiv's day-to-day operations, says that the current business proposal is to ask the top institutions in usage to pay a voluntary tiered subscription fee. Invoices for 2010 went out last month. The top 100 institutions pay 4000 dollars; the next 100, 3200 dollars; and the remainder, 2300 dollars. That revenue would reduce the library's current 400,000 dollar annual commitment in salaries, server costs, and upgrades from 75% of arXiv's total cost in 2010 to 15% by 2013. More than two dozen institutions pledged to provide support for 2010 before the plan went public, says Warner, and 'we have had several spontaneous pledges since then.'
TRANSLATION: They have raised barely 1/4 of their yearly operating costs.
"The multi-institution donation proposal is a transitional option until a more sustainable business model can be implemented with more input from the physics community, says Warner. 'We believe that a more diverse funding model will likely be better.'
TRANSLATION: MarXiv will beg from individuals and the government next.