Supporting OA research & Cites & Insights: another path

There’s still one day to go for responses to this post, but given the count of supportive comments so far (zero: while I appreciated the “only institutions care” truthtelling, it’s not precisely supportive), I suspect that there will not be an Indiegogo campaign.

Maybe that’s just as well.

This does not mean (a) that I’m giving up gold OA research entirely, or even (b) that once I finish the current cycle, that’s all there is. I find this stuff interesting–and readership for OA-related issues of C&I suggests that a lot of people find it at least somewhat worthwhile. And, honestly, I’m really interested in seeing what a full-scale revisit in early 2016 would show about OA in 2011-2015.

But I’m also aware that people (librarians and other people) tend to value less that which they do not pay for, and that it’s hard to justify doing a lot of work when there’s no clear sense that it’s reaching people or yielding positive value.

So I’m going to suggest another path for those who do want to support my research (and the continued health of Cites & Insights) but neither want to commit to (or even suggest the possibility of) buying a book or come up with a significant sum of money to help out C&I.

To wit, what public stations call a sustaining membership. As it happens, one person has already done that: signed up with PayPal to send me $2 a month–little enough to basically be invisible for the donor, but of some value to me.

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Visit Cites & Insights. You’ll find the PayPal link above the fold, fairly near to the top of the page.
  • Follow the PayPal link.
  • Set up an ongoing monthly payment. $2 is fine. $3 is even better. Big spenders might even go for $4, but I don’t want to push it.
  • Once it’s set up, you’ll get a thank you note from me–and ongoing gratitude.

If 12 more people did that, it would assure the ongoing direct costs of Cites & Insights–basically, hosting and domain registration (but not part of my pseudo-broadband).

If 50 people did that, it would pretty much cover the indirect costs (software, supplies, part of broadband) as well–and it would encourage me to keep doing related research such as OA.

If 100 people did that, it would be enough to encourage me a lot to keep on keeping on, including OA research.

And if 200 people did that–hey, I can dream–it would assure that I’d do the 2016 project and keep C&I healthy.

(Of course, modest institutional support or grant support would do equally well: for a few years C&I had a sponsor at an appropriate level, with its name on the front and back pages. With one exception, I’d be delighted to accept sponsorship from any appropriate body. No, the exception is definitely not OCLC.)

So that’s it: another way to support what I’m doing. You’ve already figured out, I’m guessing, that none of this is a matter of life, death, or being able to keep food on the table and property taxes paid. It’s a matter of explicit recognition of ongoing value, and maybe a little help for related bills.

And, since this post is about economics, maybe it’s fitting that tomorrow’s weekly installment in The Open Access Landscape is…economics.

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