On July 10 Interfolio announced changes to its fee structure for job applicants.
- Accounts are now free (note: through institutional memberships like MLA job applicants were previously able to make free Interfolio accounts)
- Delivery prices are no longer for individual letters or applications. In a new system called Dossier Deliver they are now charging a flat $48 (USD) for 50 electronic and mail deliveries
At first glance these changes look beneficial. Interfolio costs for sending out applications and letters were always one of the factors that compounded the many structural stresses of the academic job market. Delivery costs for applications could vary wildly.
Still, a number of issues emerged that are not addressed in the FAQ about the new Dossier Delivery system. Here, we will walk through some of our questions and concerns along with the responses we received from Interfolio:
Q: If we have the Dossier Deliver package, what is the cost for deliveries beyond those 50?
A: Interfolio will have an option for individuals to buy tiered (5, 10, and 15 deliveries) packs if they exhaust the original 50 deliveries allotted for the year
Q: How long will the $48 flat fee for Deliver be good for? Is it annual?
A: The flat fee is annual. The 50 delivery credits last for the one year before expiring.
Q: Does “deliverable” mean that each individual Interfolio letter counts toward the 50, or would a cluster of letters for a single position be just 1 toward the 50?
A: A cluster of letters delivered to one application or email would count as 1 delivery. Interfolio has eliminated the cost difference between deliveries
Q: Is there any way to have a cheaper rate for delivery if someone only wants to apply for any number of positions less than 50?
A: No, because Interfolio is eliminating individual costs for deliveries
In short, many of these changes benefit job applicants.
The major remaining criticism: If there will be a tiered service system, why not make it available not just after the original 50 credits allotted for a Dossier Deliver account? After all, for reasons ranging from temporary but renewable jobs, to smaller disciplines to the unpredictable number of job postings each year, many Interfolio users may send out far fewer than 50 applications a year, but they would be doing so for several years. For these users the annual flat rate model would not have the same benefit.
(Thanks to everyone who shared their concerns with me on social media about the Interfolio changes! If there any points I may have missed, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @yao_christine)