As a researcher, you want to study the world, share your insights, and learn from the discoveries of others. You already expose yourself to as many different perspectives as you can and make your work accessible to as many of your fellow researchers or academics as possible. You may have already served on peer-review panels for papers and care that publications are reputable and well-reasoned. You care about giving due credit to sources. You apply for grants on a regular basis, frustrated with the tedious process perhaps, but have to do so knowing that the funding helps you put new knowledge out into the world.
While the Open Access model has solved some of the problems with paywalls and subscription services, publishers still make money off the free labor of academic authors and peer reviewers. The standard Open Access model is to charge the authors themselves! Most grants are one-time only and may be inadequate. If you receive grants from private enterprises, you risk accusation of bias. When you put your discoveries out into the world, you may worry that someone will find a way to profit off of them and try to lock your research up behind a patent or trade secret and thus restrict its benefits.
How we can help you
Snowdrift.coop supports not only Open Access but also Open Data — the release of scientific experimental or field data in order to make research more transparent, more reproducible, and better encouragement for further study. We also support the non-profit journal and academic self-archiving movements to break lock-in of the proprietary journal system. Our funding mechanism can help pay for the work needed to get Open Access journals published without putting the burden on the authors.
The Snowdrift.coop funding mechanism can also help you sustain your research over the long term. Crowdsourcing can also help you increase awareness of and interest in your research outside of the traditional academia This helps foster an ethos of cooperation as well as competition between academics and with the larger community.
How you can help us
We need projects! Snowdrift.coop will be entering active beta testing soon and we want to include at least one research project in the mix. If you are interested yourself or know someone who might be, please send us a message!
If you would like to volunteer your time to make Snowdrift.coop better, we could use research assistance in improving our services and presenting our ideas more effectively. Both historic and new studies could be relevant.
Spread the ethos of Open Access and Open Data whenever you can! Publish your research in the freest, most accessible format available to you, and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Encourage your institution to take an official position in support of these movements.