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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Dear Retraction Watch readers: We want to grow. Here’s how you can help

with 13 comments

anniversaryGentle readers: Since August of 2010 when we launched Retraction Watch, you’ve showed us plenty of love, for which we are ever grateful. Your encouragement, story tips, and critiques are what make the site what it is. It’s great to know that we are providing you with a valuable source of information that has helped focus public attention on scientific misconduct and the process of self-correction.

Now, we’re hoping some of you will consider making a financial contribution. To continue to grow Retraction Watch, we will need resources. Please consider supporting our blog financially by becoming a paying subscriber at a modest level (or, if the spirit moves you, at an immodest level — we’ll take that, too!).

How will we use the money?

  • Operating expenses, such as hosting charges and phone bills
  • Hiring other writers as contributors
  • Conducting more in-depth investigations, for which we may have to travel
  • Building a proper retraction database

A word about how this will work: Journalists must do everything they can to maintain a firewall between their financial supporters and the work that they do. In the past, when we briefly introduced a “donate” button, we quickly saw that our very well-meaning supporters often had stories they wanted us to tell. In the interest of keeping an arm’s length from the people and institutions we cover, we’ve engaged an independent, outside company to handle these transactions confidentially, sort of the publishing equivalent of a politician who puts his assets in a blind trust.

Important to note: Our intention and plan is that RetractionWatch.com will remain freely available to the public. Open access to information about scientific corrections and retractions is part of our ethos. Becoming a supporting member of our community by contributing financially is not required to continue to read our coverage. But we certainly appreciate any and all contributions, whether they go into our story tip jar or our cash tip jar. This is not a tax deductible charitable contribution.

Ready to help? Please subscribe here — and thanks!

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Written by Ivan Oransky

March 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

13 Responses

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  1. Yes!, Retraction watch is a great service and I am happy to see that universities are now using it as a study resource to educate future generations. I pay a lot of taxes and am not happy with results from our public health system. I am happy to voluntarily contribute to a service that actually works for the public benefit—keep up the good work!

    ed goodwin

    March 17, 2014 at 9:47 am

  2. Offer an 1$ donation option … 1million people x 1$ = 1million dollars! :)

    Holly

    March 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

  3. Quick question… is RW a 501(c)(3) for tax purposes? Making donations tax deductible (for US readers) would sweeten the pot (as would knowing the gubment won’t take a cut).

    Also I know you guys have invested a lot of your own time and money into this endeavor, and the scientific community will be eternally grateful for you starting this site, but moving forward it would be a good idea to publish annual accounts detailing what the funds were used for. Transparency will only encourage more donations in the long run.

    Paul Brookes

    March 17, 2014 at 11:17 am

    • Hi Paul, thanks for the queries.

      We’re not a 501(c)(3), so as we point out in the post, this is not a tax-deductible contribution. Becoming a 501(c)(3) brings its own costs, so while we would consider that in the future, we’re not doing it now.

      As far as transparency, of course we agree, and we will let people know how we’re using the funds. We laid out our plans in the bullet points above.

      ivanoransky

      March 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

  4. Donated – keep up the good work!

    Have you also considered Kickstarter, or maybe one of its science-specific equivalents?

    Cath Ennis (@enniscath)

    March 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    • I would go with crowdhoster, which has some nice options like rolling a crowdfunded campaign with “recurring payment” options.

      yonemoto

      March 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm

  5. Great job all around. I think that if you were providing no other service than that of being a beacon for scrupulous behavior you would have done enough. The fact that you are having a multiplier effect is almost magical.
    DCM

    Devra C Marcus

    March 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

  6. I am a professional (attorney) who comes here weekly because it is good reading, but also because I support accountability and transparency in all fields. I will donate. But I have a suggestion – there are hundreds of foundations that support innovation for science and I think RW is a innovative as any. You should connect with any of the grant funding services you have encountered and find out if money is available for RW. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Also, such a thing would help you fund your 501(c)(3) filing.

    Ernie Gordon

    March 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm

  7. Just contributed to your important work shining the light on dark and in dangerous places. Would there be a possibility of government grants (there’s really no money left) to fund such and important scientific enterprise I wonder? LOL. Retraction Watch – furthering science by keeping scientists honest!

    Matthew Peters

    March 19, 2014 at 10:39 am


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