From Cornell University Library's August 28 press release:
arXiv, the free repository that has revolutionized the way scientists share information, is adopting a new governance and business model that will allow it to grow and succeed in the future.
Thanks to an operating grant from the Simons Foundation, Cornell University Library has helped arXiv take a major step toward sustainability. Beginning in January and running through 2017, the Simons Foundation will provide up to $300,000 per year as a matching gift for the funds generated through arXiv's membership fees. The grant also provides $50,000 per year as an "unconditional gift" that recognizes the Library's stewardship of arXiv.
Annual membership fees, paid by voluntary contribution from these institutions, help cover arXiv's costs -- and, now, will provide a sum for the Simons Foundation to match.
The newly established model has garnered partners all over the globe. To date, more than 120 member institutions in over a dozen countries have pledged their support, totaling $285,000. Among the 100 institutions that use arXiv most heavily, nearly three-quarters committed to five-year pledges.
As an open-access service, it allows scientists to share "preprint" research before publication and boasts hundreds of thousands of contributors. In 2011 alone, arXiv saw close to 50 million downloads from all over the world and received more than 76,000 new submissions.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, August 10 issue:
There was more good news for Georgia State University and more bad news for the publisher plaintiffs on Friday in a closely watched lawsuit over the use of copyrighted material in e-reserves. In May, Judge Orinda Evans of the U.S. District Court in Atlanta handed down a ruling that dismissed all but five of the copyright-infringement claims brought by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publishers against the university. On Friday afternoon, Judge Evans issued an order denying the plaintiffs' request for injunctive and declaratory relief for those five infringements. She ordered the defendants to make sure that the university's copyright policies are "not inconsistent" with her May ruling. She also awarded Georgia State "reasonable attorney's fees," as well as other costs to be determined.
The court is "convinced that defendants did try to comply with the copyright laws," Judge Evans wrote on Friday. "On balance, the court finds that defendants are the prevailing party in this case." [...]
In its August cover story, Whither Science Publishing?, the Scientist sponsored a discussion between researchers, editors/publishers of scientific journals, and librarians. A telling excerpt:
QUESTION 4: Is there an as-yet-untried alternative to subscription-based or open-access publishing?
Michael Eisen, Howard Hughes Investigator and Associate Professor of Genetics, Genomics, and Development, University of California, Berkeley: Yes. Several: direct subsidies to publishers (à la eLife) and doing away with publishers entirely and using a system based completely on something like arXiv.org [a seminal open-access archive used to share research in the fields of mathematics, physics, and computer science].
Susan King, Senior Vice President, American Chemical Society Journals Publishing Group: No. The value-add that publishers provide through services like supporting peer review; enhancing the global accessibility of scholarly communication in standardized formats; enabling the discovery of knowledge through innovative web-based platforms, tools, and interlinked content; protecting the integrity and reliability of the scholarly record; and preserving the scholarly record for future generations have costs that must be paid for in some way. Both subscription and open-access publishing seek to recover the costs of this ongoing investment from those who benefit from it. It has been argued that even projects such as eLife, which do not plan to charge initially, constitute a form of prepaid gold open access, with its sponsors prepaying the fees that the project eventually expects to incur.