Coming soon, combined MuckRock and DocumentCloud plans

Coming soon, combined MuckRock and DocumentCloud plans

For a limited time, Organization accounts for as low as $25/month with CLEF subsidy

Written by
Edited by JPat Brown

Over the last year, we’ve been hard at work integrating DocumentCloud and MuckRock into a unified suite that helps journalists and researchers do their work more effectively.

These upgrades — including unified user accounts and subscriptions — will roll out in the first half of this year, along with a rebuilt DocumentCloud. The updated DocumentCloud will be faster, more reliable, and pave the way for future functionality and improvements.

We’ll also be broadening the existing subscription plans MuckRock offers to include access to DocumentCloud services. Newsrooms will still be able to upload up to 250 pages for free each month, with a variety of plans designed to fit the needs and budgets of organizations of all sizes for those that need more.

One Organization subscription, complete access

The biggest changes are coming to Org accounts. The starting price of $100 per month will stay the same, but you’ll begin getting a lot more:

  • Organization accounts will now start with five user accounts, up from three.

  • Organization accounts can file up to 50 requests on MuckRock per month.

  • Full API access to both MuckRock and DocumentCloud.

  • 5,000 pages in private DocumentCloud uploads per month.

  • If an organization is a verified newsroom, they can upload an unlimited amount of public documents.

  • Free unlimited private and public use of the Assignments crowdsourcing tool.

Additional users beyond the first five will cost $10 each, which includes five more monthly MuckRock requests and 500 additional pages in private DocumentCloud uploads.

Expanded Pro account offerings

MuckRock’s Pro accounts are getting an upgrade, too. Designed for individual use or small newsrooms where only one person will be using the account, Pro accounts will offer:

  • 20 MuckRock requests per month.

  • Embargo requests to keep them private for up to 30 days at a time.

  • Privately share requests and documents with other people.

  • Upload up to 1,000 private pages to DocumentCloud per month.

  • Full API access to both MuckRock and DocumentCloud.

  • If an organization is a verified newsroom, they can upload an unlimited amount of public documents.

  • Free unlimited private and public use of the Assignments crowdsourcing tool.

Pro accounts will remain $40 a month.

Free and pay-as-you-go accounts

You’ll continue to be able to do a lot with free Basic accounts on both MuckRock and DocumentCloud:

  • Browse MuckRock’s request, jurisdiction, agency and exemption databases.

  • Search through DocumentCloud’s public document repository.

  • Follow other user’s MuckRock requests to receive updates.

  • Free private use of Assignments crowdsourcing tool.

  • Verified news organizations can upload up to 100 pages per month (including public and private documents) free.

  • View and make notes on privately shared requests and documents.

In addition, if a subscription isn’t right for you, you can purchase just the services you need with no monthly fees:

A La Carte Bulk Rate Pro and Org Bulk Rate
MuckRock Requests $5/request $4/request $3/request
500 Pages $20 $16 $12

Bulk rates start at 20 MuckRock requests or 2,500 pages.

With a CLEF subsidy, get started for just $25 a month

We’re also working to keep our services affordable to as many users as possible. One of those efforts is already underway: Newsrooms based in the United States or with a U.S.-based fiscal sponsor can be reimbursed between 25% and 75% of the cost of an annual membership through Community Listening and Engagement Fund (CLEF). That means you can get an Org account for five users for just $25 a month.

Applications are only open until January 19th, so apply today or let us know if you have questions.

We are also interested in finding other ways to subsidize access for journalists, researchers, and others who could benefit from our tools. If you are a membership organization or funder interested in subsidizing access to our services for your members or specific communities, we’d love to talk more.

Give back and get access

In 2019, we’ll also be expanding ways to earn free access, including free Pro accounts, by contributing to MuckRock, DocumentCloud, and our other services. Some of these will be through rewards highlighted through our Assignments tool, as well as a new contributor program that will offer Pro accounts in exchange for contributing guides, tipsheets, and open source contributions that benefit the community. We’ll be releasing the details of that program in the coming months, but if you’re interested and have an idea of a contribution, we’d love to hear from you:

To get notified about other opportunities to contribute and earn services, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will these changes be taking place?

Sometime in the first half of 2019. We want to really kick the tires and make sure these releases work well, so there might be gradual updates as things are ready. We’re hoping that we will be able to offer the larger base Org account size (five instead of three) by the end of February; paid DocumentCloud plans and non-journalist access to DocumentCloud will not start until sometime after February.

What counts as a verified journalist? What is different about those accounts?

Currently, DocumentCloud only accepts users that have an affiliation with a vetted news organization. Starting with the relaunch, anyone will be able to sign up for a registered account, but verified journalist accounts will get extra capabilities, primarily focused on being able to publish documents publicly. If you currently have an active DocumentCloud membership, that membership will carry forward in marking you as a verified journalist. If you don’t, we’ll look at your professional memberships, current publications, and other evidence that you have a track record of obtaining, assessing, and publishing verified materials primarily for the purpose of informing the public.

Over time, we hope to partner with other organizations to streamline this process. If you are a journalism membership organization interested in this kind of partnership, please get in touch.

Key differences for verified journalist accounts:

  • Only verified journalists will be able to post documents publicly on DocumentCloud.

  • Verified news organizations and journalists with an active subscription will get to upload an unlimited number of public pages each month.

  • Verified news organizations without a subscription will be able to upload up to 100 pages per month across the organization free of charge.

What happens to my DocumentCloud account if I don’t get a subscription?

If you’re an existing DocumentCloud user, your documents are safe — we won’t delete your documents, lock out accounts, or start forcing you to pay to access your existing materials. Embeds will continue to work normally and unmetered. Starting with the relaunch, newsrooms will be able to upload up to 250 pages per month free of charge, which they can make public or private as needed.

How were the pricing levels determined? Why can’t DocumentCloud remain free and supported by donations or grants?

We’ve settled on pricing after conversations with dozens of newsroom leaders around the world and thanks to feedback from over 160 survey participants.

We know it’s not easy for newsrooms to find any flexibility in the budget, but it’s important that we have revenue to support building and maintaining a more robust service for years to come.

For resource-constrained newsrooms, please remember that CLEF can help cover up to 75% of an Organization account cost. We also have the aforementioned initiatives to allow users to volunteer their time, knowledge, and experience in exchange for free access. We look forward to expanding those opportunities in the months to come.

Can I have an Organization account with unlimited users/unlimited uploads/other terms not listed here?

Maybe!

Organizations that pay a la carte rather than with a subscription can have an unlimited number of users in them and pay based on usage rather than number of users.

Organizations and Pro users that have any paid subscription have unlimited public uploads, as long as they are a vetted news source.

If you’re an organization that has over 20 users and don’t feel like any of our current plans are a good fit based on projected usage, we can discuss custom plans that are a fit for your needs. Email us.

If you’re a small organization tackling a huge project that requires a lot of public pages, we’ll occasionally provide special service grants to fit those needs. We’ll roll that program out more formally next year, but in the meantime get in touch directly.

Is the “Give Back and Get Access” program open to everyone? Can entire newsrooms contribute?

To start, contributing through Assignments to earn requests will be open to everyone, but contributing articles and tipsheets will be reserved for working journalists.

We do not plan on offering free Org accounts in exchange for in-kind contributions, but we will consider requests on a case-by-case basis. Email us.