Ethnologue launches subscription service
As I have mentioned a few times in the past, the Ethnologue represents three generations of ongoing research. This project has involved thousands of linguists over the years from SIL International, from partner organizations, and from many, many individuals. The team of personnel who now work on Ethnologue here at Ethnologue Central has grown as the scope of the project and the number and kinds of products we offer have expanded. There are now 8 of us who invest some part of our working days in Ethnologue operations. That investment of time and expertise has been supported by a generous subsidy from SIL International and others. While we have sold books and other products, income from sales has never been sufficient to sustain the Ethnologue project.
We recognize that the free online Ethnologue has been greatly appreciated by many, and we want to be able to continue providing the most accurate and comprehensive information about the languages of the world. And so, we now find it necessary to initiate a more sustainable financial model. Starting today, we are moving to a digital subscription model for users of Ethnologue.com. The income from subscriptions will help us to improve Ethnologue.com by providing you with even better data and features in the future.
We could have fallen back on the now-familiar annual pledge drive model, but we think most users of Ethnologue would find it less distracting to use a pay-for-what-you-use model. We'll let NPR, PBS, Wikipedia, and others do their thing. The system we are implementing is very similar to what you may have seen on other online publication websites. All users of the website will continue to have free access to a set number of language data pages each month. Once that limit is exceeded, however, you will need to purchase a subscription that will give you unlimited access for a full month (or a year) from the date of purchase.
Subscriptions give you access to the Ethnologue's extensive data on the world's languages. This includes all of the maps, language family trees, language data pages, country information pages, and much more.
It is very likely that most users of the website won't even notice this change. The current page limit is set at 7 data pages. That number excludes all of the navigation pages, indexes, and other "administrative" pages that you may need to access to get to the data you want to see. And you can return to any of those pages as many times as you need to within the calendar month. You will see a page counter in the lower left corner of each page that shows you how many free pages you have remaining. Only if you reach your monthly limit of data pages--by visiting a larger number of pages--will you see a message requiring you to purchase a subscription in order to continue browsing with unlimited access.
If you wish to subscribe, (or if you would just like to support the Ethnologue) the process is quick and easy and you don't have to wait for the subscription message to pop up. You can start your subscription now by clicking on the Subscribe link at the top of the home page at Ethnologue.com or you can go there directly by going to: www.ethnologue.com/subscribe with your browser. A third path is to click on the page counter in the bottom left corner of the page.
As with anything new, we expect there will be questions. Feel free to get in touch with us by using the appropriate email address or the contact form found here: www.ethnologue.com/about/contact-us