Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2011
Launching a "Freemium" Model
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), a peer reviewed, open access online reference, draws its funding from investment returns from a project endowment, built from the financial contributions of academic libraries. When we first studied the project, it had made great progress toward its goal of building a $4.125 million endowment, but it faced uncertainty over the extent to which the economic downturn in 2008 would affect its investments. In the two years since then, as endowment support has not yet reached needed levels, SEP’s leaders have developed a new channel of support for the resource by designing and launching a “Friends of the SEP” membership programme for individuals, who gain access to PDF versions of SEP entries and versions formatted for mobile devices.
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