Why we support the Open Commons, and your society should too!

Many of you have probably already seen on your social media feeds that the Open Commons of Phenomenology (who just happens to host our blog) has launched a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. Their goal is to raise $35,000.00 USD over the next month in order to support their projects through to the end of 2017. If this model is successful, they can continue to provide their services in open access with the ongoing help of backers.

Yesterday, NASEP contributed $600.00 to the campaign. And we think other phenomenological societies should do the same.

For the average grad student or post-doc, a contribution of $20-40 is reasonable when they can afford it. For the average tenured professor, $85-100 seems to be the going rate for contributions. That also seems reasonable.

But learned societies can play a much bigger role. And they ought to.

NASEP is a young(ish) society with a tight budget and just a handful of dues paying members. But the decision to use some of our funds to support the Open Commons was an easy one. All of the executive members agreed that this was a worthy cause, and since we know our members use the Open Commons for their research, we decided to step up and give more than moral support. This is exactly what our resources should be going toward – promoting phenomenology and phenomenological research.

The $600 contribution allows us to choose an author whose complete bibliography will be added to the Open Commons database. We chose Adolf Reinach for a couple of reasons. First, he was a member of both the Munich and Göttingen Circles of phenomenology, and was a central figure in the early phenomenological movement. Second, because of his untimely death, all of his works are in the public domain, which means that in addition to having his bibliography on the Open Commons, scans of all of his works will be added.

We truly hope that this will inspire other societies that focus on phenomenology and related branches of philosophy to follow suit. With pooled resources, getting that $600.00 from a society shouldn’t be difficult. And it’s money that goes back into our philosophical communities. It’s an investment in our field of research. It’s an investment in preserving and sharing knowledge. And for those of us in positions of privilege, however slight, it’s a chance to assist our colleagues – both the team behind the Open Commons, and its users – in achieving their goals.

Join us and contribute to the campaign by clicking here.


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