Half a year ago I quit my job to figure out what I could contribute to making academic articles freely available to all. In that time, I learned a lot, much of which I’ve documented on this blog. And now, I’m putting those learnings into practice.
We need alternatives to the traditional scholarly publishers. And as I wrote in my previous post, these alternatives are most likely to be adopted by academics when they are led by their peers. It is these academic frontrunners that I want to support: starting alternative journals should be as easy as starting a blog. You should be up and running in a matter of minutes, ready to invite contributors and to spread the word, without having to worry about funding models or infrastructure.
To that end, I present: Flockademic.
Today marks the release of the first step towards that goal. Right now, you can trivially start a preprint journal on Flockademic.com. Its functionality is still limited, and that’s intentional: by releasing Flockademic as early as possible, your feedback can shape it at an early stage. Nevertheless, today’s release gives you the tools needed to put your work out there: be it preprints, lab notes, conference posters or something else, you can share them through Flockademic.
But this is just the beginning. In the long term, the goal is to make journal subscriptions and publication fees superfluous, by supporting viable alternatives to publishers that do not have researchers’ best interests in mind. And this is where you come in!
To make this project a success, it could use your help. Firstly: give it a try and share your thoughts. What do you think of the idea? Would you be interested to try your hand at starting a preprint journal, and how can Flockademic support you? Your feedback will help shaping the future of Flockademic.
And secondly: spread the word! Share it on social media, tell people you know who are toying with the idea of starting their own journal, and bring it to the attention of anyone you know who might be interested. And if people have questions, let them know they’re free to contact me.
Finally, for those of you excited enough to want to get involved: reach out! There’s plenty to do, and given the early stage of the project, a lot of opportunity to make an impact and shape the future of Flockademic.
I am excited about this next milestone in the Flockademic journey, and I hope that you see its promise as well. I am committed to making this a success, and invite you to follow along by subscribing to the newsletter or following Flockademic on Twitter. And of course, if you have comments, questions or remarks, let me know: Vincent@Flockademic.com.