Edward Zalta

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's Publishing and Funding Model: What it Means for Open Access and the Library Community
Edward Zalta

Abstract


Brief Description

From its inception in 1995, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) was designed to be a dynamic reference work, in which each entry is maintained and kept up to date by an expert or group of experts in the field. All entries and substantive updates are refereed by the member of a distinguished Editorial Board before they are made public. Consequently, the SEP maintains academic standards while evolving and adapting in response to new research. You can cite fixed editions that are created on a quarterly basis and stored in our Archives (every entry contains a link to its complete archival history, identifying the fixed edition the reader should cite).

In this talk, I first describe the above publishing model in further detail, and then describe the funding model we've developed to maintain open access to the SEP. On our funding plan, Stanford University and the world-wide library community have partnered to build a *protected* operated fund for the SEP. To cover the SEP's $200,000 annual budget, Stanford University has agreed to raise $1.125 million, while the library community (under the auspices of ICOLC, SPARC, SOLINET, and others) has agreed to raise $3 million. Library contributions are paid in the form of membership dues to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy International Association (SEPIA), which has SOLINET as its fiscal agent. Money collected by SOLINET is transferred to a special escrow account in Stanford University's endowment under a contract vetted by the NEH, which stipulates that Stanford shall manage the money and use the annual payout only for the support of the SEP, and that it must return the money (together with any interest and appreciation accumlated in excees of the annual payout) to the libraries should the project ever terminate. Thus, Stanford provides free money management services, and since it typically earns 8-10% on its endowment and pays out 5% to the project, the library money is not only being protected and put to good use (instead of disappearing the way subscriptions do), but is also growing and thus represents an investment.

I describe what this model means for the library community in terms of solving budget crises, support for open access, the future of scholarly communication, and the methods by which the libraries can take a more active role in publishing.

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