Currently, one major barrier to communicating your work and/or ideas is having enough funds to get published. These fees can easily reach the thousands of dollars per journal.
In the past, charging such high rates to publish scientific discoveries was justifiable because of printing and distribution costs. Now however, because of the Internet, this is no longer the case. New discoveries are disseminated instantly, formatting is performed automatically and thus, prices could dramatically shrink.
Indeed, an analysis by Deutsche Bank states:
“…the publisher adds relatively little value to the publishing process … if the process really were as complex, costly and value-added as the publishers protest that it is, 40% margins wouldn’t be available”
The high costs of scientific publishing negatively impact scientific progress by limiting communication to those that can afford to pay. A high school student rarely has thousands of dollars available to publish work on their own. The same can be said of an undergraduate student, graduate student, or postdoc for that matter.
Yes, these groups do typically publish with their mentors, who use their grant money to pay for publications but this delays scientific independence and limits submissions to those approved by mentors. Moreover, it’s another large expense for labs that are increasingly becoming strapped for cash.
Scientists on average receive their first grant at over 40 years old, partially due to delays in publishing. We consider this a serious problem. We believe a greater diversity of ideas in science is needed, which can only be accomplished through a diversity of people publishing- both young and old.
This is why The Winnower will charge a flat rate of $100 to publish scientists’ work online where it can instantly be viewed by the entire scientific community and the public at large. We want to allow new and established scientists to be able to publish their work and ideas without being constrained by budget. We want more ideas, more discussion and more debate so that science will advance at a faster pace. Innovation and advancement is severely impeded in the current system and this needs to change! Will you join us?