The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy International Association (SEPIA) is a membership organization consisting primarily of academic libraries and library consortia. SEPIA has been formed to support the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), and in particular, to help this online publication achieve sustainable open access by providing a mechanism through which funds can be raised in support of its long-term sustainability plan. The recommended amount of membership dues per library varies according to the country in which the member library is located, and if located in the U.S. or Canada, by the highest degree in philosophy awarded at that institution.

After reviewing the details below, your library can contribute by registering its commitment to pay membership dues SEPIA. The documentation and invoices for your membership dues will be transmitted to you from the Philosophy Documentation Center, through its special web page:

A. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Its Funding Plan.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) is one of the most significant humanities publications on the World Wide Web. Its content is open access and it serves millions of pages annually to readers worldwide. The SEP has achieved its current status by its special combination of advanced digital technology and rigorous academic peer review. All of this was accomplished on a series of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Stanford University and the world-wide library community, however, have formed a partnership to ensure the long-term sustainability of the SEP. In particular, Stanford, the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and Indiana University Libraries have developed an innovative plan involving unique institutional arrangements that will help the SEP remain open access.

Under the terms of that plan, Stanford, ICOLC and SPARC are attempting to raise a $4.125 million protected operating fund for the SEP, with the following division of labor: while the ICOLC and SPARC attempt to raise $3 million (i.e., $1 million/year for 3 years) from the world-wide library community, Stanford is raising $1.125 million from private individual and corporate donors. The contributions from libraries world-wide are invested and managed by Stanford University's Management Company, but are kept in a separate fund for accounting purposes, subject to the following protections: (1) If the SEP project ever moves to a new institution, Stanford will turn over the library contributions (with interest) to the new institution, and (2) if the SEP project ever terminates, Stanford will return the library contributions (with interest) to the contributing libraries.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has endorsed and supported the plan by awarding library organizations a Challenge Grant. Under the terms of that grant, the NEH contributed $500,000 to match the first $1.5 million in contributions from the world-wide library community.

B. The Role of SEPIA

The world-wide library community can provide support for this plan by paying membership dues to join SEPIA, which is sponsored and hosted by Indiana University Libraries. In return, the libraries will receive the following member benefits: special protections on their membership dues, special single-click download access to the SEP Archives, branding on SEP web pages accessed by computers at their institution, the right to store (but not serve) SEP archives while the SEP continues to exist, the right to serve the SEP archives should the SEP cease to exist, and a public listing on the SEP Library Support page.

Note that fiscal services for SEPIA will be provided by the Philosophy Documentation Center (PDC) The PDC will invoice the libraries that join SEPIA for their membership dues, collect those dues, and transfer the collected amounts to Stanford University under a contract that (a) guarantees that Stanford will use the money only for the support of the SEP, and (b) guarantees that Stanford will return the membership dues paid to SEPIA to the contributing libraries should the SEP project ever be terminated. The PDC Registration page for SEPIA is available at

C. The Recommended Contribution for Membership Dues.

One of the principal elements of the SEP's funding model is that the membership dues paid to SEPIA are a one-time cost to the libraries that join SEPIA. Libraries do not have to pay membership dues on an annual basis. However, libraries may split up the payment for the one-time cost over the course of 3 years. Simply fill out the appropriate payment option on the PDC's web form, mentioned above.

The one-time cost of membership dues are as follows:

  1. Membership dues for libraries at U.S. and Canadian academic institutions are based on the highest degree in philosophy awarded at that institution:
    • Institutions awarding the Ph.D. in Philosophy: $15,750
    • Institutions awarding the M.A. in Philosophy: $6,300
    • Institutions awarding the B.A. in Philosophy: $3,150
  2. Membership dues for libraries at academic Institutions in countries other than the U.S. and Canada incur the following one-time cost:
    • English-speaking: $3,150 one-time membership dues: United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand
    • Western Europe, Israel: $1,575 one-time membership dues: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vatican City State
    • Eastern Europe: $630 one-time membership dues: Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Rep, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia
    • Asia: $630 one-time membership dues: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Cyprus, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel [$1500], Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam, Yemen
    • Africa: $315 one-time membership dues: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cent Afr Rep, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
    • Latin America/Caribbean: $630 one-time membership dues: Argentina, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Rep, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela

Institutions which do not make the recommended contributions will receive special, further communications encouraging them to continue to make further contributions until they have reached the recommended amount.