Back at the beginning of the year, I laid out a plan for community support of The Molecular Ecologist — today, after two busy months, I’m excited to announce that we’re finally launching the first stage of that plan, a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo.
Since 2010, The Molecular Ecologist has been an online forum for readers of and contributors to the journal Molecular Ecology, rounding up “news and commentary for ecology, evolution, and everything in between.” Now we’d like to build on that history to secure independent support, reach a broader audience, and provide resources for early-career scientists studying evolution, ecology, and genetics. What are we asking for, and what do we want to do with it? I’m glad you asked.
What We Need
Till now, TME‘s expenses, including the costs of hosting the site and contributor stipends, have been funded by Tim Vines as part of the Molecular Ecology editorial office budget. While we will always maintain our special relationship with the journal, we want to raise up to $5,000 to develop independent funding for our basic expenses, to support more in-depth writing for a broader audience, and to offer opportunities to early career researchers. What we’re able to do will depend on how much we raise:
- If we raise $500, we’ll cover the cost of hosting and domain registration, and other “infrastructure” for the site.
- If we raise up to $2,500, we’ll be able to support in-depth, formally edited articles by our regular contributors and guest writers, paid at regular freelance rates. (The current contributor team is working for free, right now.)
- If we raise up to $4,000, we’ll create a TME travel fellowship, to support graduate students and postdoctoral researchers for travel to the field or conferences, which they can write about for the site.
- If we raise up to $5,000, we’ll use the money to develop new media options, like podcasting or video — depending on our readers’ interests.
- Raising funding at any level will also give us a base of support that can help us pursue grant funding for bigger projects, and help us bridge to the next phase of our plan, which will let folks support the site with regular small donations through Patreon.
What You’ll Get
Everyone who donates will help ensure the site continues to provide a handy window onto new research and methods in ecological and evolutionary genetics. But we’ve also come up with some nifty TME-themed “thank you” gifts for folks who pitch in, all bearing our new “heliboot” logo.
- If you donate $25 or more, we’ll send you a TME pin
- If you donate $75 or more, we’ll send you a TME coffee mug
- If you donate $100 or more, we’ll send you a TME tee-shirt
- If you make any donation at all, we’ll enter you in a drawing to receive a reward package including a pin, a mug, and a shirt.
Your contributions will help secure the future of The Molecular Ecologist, and help us work to reach a broader audience, including non-scientists, while maintaining our core relationships with Molecular Ecology and with researchers working in evolution, ecology, and genetics.
Our plans “extend” with higher levels of funding, so we’re prepared for whatever community support we’re able to achieve. We know that lots of folks read TME regularly, and we hope they find it valuable enough to help secure our future and build new capabilities.
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help. Spread the word! You can tweet about this campaign and share it on Facebook — and even tell your colleagues about it in person.