Free Our Knowledge

Scholarly publishing is broken, costing us time, money and progress on crucial issues like health and climate change. Help us kickstart a new system that prioritises scientific communication over profits.

A little bit of context
The goal of science is to make discoveries and to share these findings with the world. To communicate their findings, scientists publish articles in journals that are reviewed and edited by respected peers in their field. 

But there’s a problem
Over the last century, commercial publishers have co-opted scholarly communication and turned it into a race for prestigious publications, which are then sold back to the research community at a premium. This encourages bad scientific practices and locks knowledge behind paywalls, delaying the progress that could otherwise be made on important issues like health and climate change. At the same time, these companies exploit their position in the market to reap billions of dollars in profits every year, making scholarly publishing the most profitable business on the planet. Because most research is publicly-funded, this equates to a huge tax on society. 

Here’s what we’re doing about it
The obvious solution is for academics to publish in not-for-profit venues that make articles freely available via the internet ('Open Access'). Unfortunately, these venues are relatively new, and job scarcity in academia forces most scientists to continue publishing their research in more established commercial journals. If academics  around the world could organise a widespread and simultaneous 'strike', however, they would be able to transition the value they provide to alternative Open Access venues, without putting individual careers at risk. Our plan, therefore, is to build a platform that registers academics' intentions to publish in Open Access journals, subsequent to a critical mass of support being reached in the academic community. Once this threshold is reached, the new community will act in unison to boycott commercial publishers, and transition their support to cheaper and more efficient models of scholarly communication.

You can help us
We're asking for AUD$3800 to develop the platform (based on a generous quote from codi.coop of €1400 for the minimal viable product + two sprints at €500 each). After that, we'll begin registering pledges and apply for more funding to advertise the campaign globally. Academics, universities, librarians, and grant agencies all want this change to happen, we just need the right catalyst. Will you help us to kickstart a revolution in academia? 

And here’s some amazing perks for supporting us that you can’t live without
If you donate, we'll list you as a financial supporter on the website (unless you prefer to remain anonymous, of course) and keep you up to date on the project as it unfolds. You'll also get that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you're contributing to a better future*.

*warm fuzzies not guaranteed

Donations (0)

  • Zsuzsika Sjoerds 
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Gabriele Marinello 
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Jenny Richards 
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $60 
    • 6 mos
  • tom walker 
    • $30 
    • 6 mos

Organizer 

Cooper Smout 
Organizer
South Brisbane, QLD
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