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Role of arXiv

David Prosser's recent post on the deposit of articles in arXiv 
by Nobel laureates prompts some musings.

What is the current uptake on arXiv for physics articles?  Is it 
100%, that is, are there any articles in the field that are 
published in traditional physics journals that do not appear in 

Considering the centrality of arXiv to the physics community, it 
is difficult to imagine that it would ever disappear (or that 
anyone would want it to).  My understanding is that arXiv is 
funded by a combination of support from Cornell, a large 
government grant, and contributions from other research 
universities.  If this funding were to disappear (I heard it was 
threatened a year or two ago), would arXiv be resurrected by the 

Finally, once again taking the centrality of arXiv to the 
community it serves into consideration, what would happen if a 
modest deposit fee were assessed--say, $50 per article?  I am not 
suggesting that this should or should not happen; I am simply 
wondering what the outcome would be.  (BioMed Central, PLoS, and 
Hindawi all charge more than this, though they provide additional 
services.)  Would the number of deposits remain about the same? 
Would the number drop?  And if it dropped, how precipitously?

Joe Esposito