“Since 2010, Cornell’s sustainability planning initiative has aimed to reduce arXiv’s financial burden and dependence on a single institution, instead creating a broad-based, community-supported resource. arXiv’s funding and governance for the current operation (Classic arXiv) is based on a membership program engaging libraries and research laboratories worldwide that represent the repository’s heaviest institutional users. As of February 2017, we have 206 members representing 25 countries. arXiv’s sustainability plan is founded on and presents a business model for generating revenues and a set of governance, editorial, and financial principles. Cornell University Library (CUL), the Simons Foundation, and a global collective of institutional members support arXiv financially. The financial model for 2013–2017 entails three sources of revenues:
CUL provides a cash subsidy of $75,000 per year in support of arXiv’s operational costs. In addition, CUL makes an in-kind contribution of all indirect costs, which currently represents 37% of total operating expenses.
The Simons Foundation contributes $100,000 per year ($50,000 prior to 2016) in recognition of CUL’s stewardship of arXiv. In addition, the Foundation matches $300,000 per year of the funds generated through arXiv membership fees.
Each member institution pledges a five-year funding commitment to support arXiv. Based on institutional usage ranking, the annual fees are set in four tiers from $1,500 to $3,000.
In 2016, Cornell raised approximately $515,000 through membership fees from 201 institutions and the total revenue (including CUL, Simons Foundation direct contributions, and online fundraising) is around $1,015,000. We remain grateful for the support from the Simons Foundation that encouraged long-term community support by lowering arXiv membership fees and making participation affordable to a broad range of institutions. This model aims to ensure that the ultimate responsibility for sustaining arXiv remains with the research communities and institutions that benefit from the service most directly.”