GitHub – FreeOurKnowledge/community: Place to discuss Project Free Our Knowledge (including campaign proposals, posted as separate Issues) and store project documents

“Academia functions like a ‘tragedy of the commons dilemma’ (or collective action problem) — the widespread adoption of open science practices could benefit everyone in the research community, but their adoption is impeded by incentive structures that reward sub-optimal research and publication practices at the individual level. Our platform functions much like Kickstarter, but for cultural change rather than products. Any researcher can propose a campaign calling for their peers to adopt a particular behaviour if and when there is a critical mass of support in their community to do so. Pledges remain inactive and anonymised until this time, allowing vulnerable individuals to signal their desire for positive culture change without risking their career in the process. Then — after the critical mass is met — all signatories are de-anonymised on the website and directed to carry out the action together, thus creating momentum for change and protecting one another’s interests through collective action. We envisage that over time, these campaigns will grow increasingly larger in size and scope, and eventually become a powerful driving force in aligning the academic system with the needs of research community and principles of science itself….”

Gold open access pledge

“Many journals place publicly-funded research behind expensive paywalls, costing the research sector billions of dollars every year and preventing access to life-saving research. Despite these harmful effects on the research community and broader public, many researchers continue to support paywalled journals because their ‘prestige’ is important for career progression. But at the same time, journal prestige depends entirely on the valuable articles and reviews we donate as a research community — if a critical mass of researchers were to unanimously declare their support for Open Access journals, the prestige of these journals would quickly rise and researchers would be free to support progressive journals without risk to individual careers.

By signing this campaign, you will pledge to exclusively support Open Access journals. Your pledge will only go into effect if a critical mass of peers in your field sign the same pledge (choose your own threshold when you pledge, according to your circumstances)….”

Free our knowledge

“The scholarly publishing system is inefficient, expensive, and promotes questionable research practices. Intense competition between researchers discourages us from embracing solutions to these problems (‘Open Science’), for fear we might risk our careers in the process. Our mission is to ‘kickstart’ progress by first organising a critical mass of support for certain Open Science practices (e.g. Open Access publishing), and then acting in a coordinated fashion to instantiate these practices as a new cultural norm….

Join the movement by pledging your support for each of the research practices below. For each campaign, you will select a ‘support threshold’ that determines when your pledge becomes active and deanonymised, thus preventing any risk to your career until you have the support of your research community….”