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Be part of a landmark citizen science paper on consensus

Posted on 25 April 2013 by John Cook

UPDATE: we have reached our goal of raising $1,600 to pay the publication fee. Many thanks to all the donors who made it possible to publish our consensus research as an open-access paper. Citizen science in action!

Over the past year volunteers here at Skeptical Science have been quietly engaged in a landmark citizen science project. We have completed the most comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed climate science papers ever done. Some 21 years worth of climate papers – more than 12,000 in all – have been carefully ranked by their level of endorsement of human-caused global warming. We also invited thousands of the authors of these papers to rate their own papers.

Earlier this year, we submitted our paper, Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature, to the high-impact journal Environmental Research Letters (ERL). This week, the paper was approved by the journal. One of the reasons we submitted our paper to ERL was that the journal is open-access. Their articles are freely available to the public with no pay walls, which was very important to us. However, there is also a US$1,600 publication fee.

In keeping with the citizen science spirit of the project, we're crowd sourcing the funding of the paper's publication. So we're asking Skeptical Science readers to be part of our project by helping us raise the $1,600 to publish our paper measuring the level of consensus in the peer-reviewed literature, in a high impact journal that is free to the public.

UPDATE: we have reached our $1,600 goal. Many thanks to all donors. I will be publishing a blog post providing more details soon.

If you would like to be part of this citizen science effort, click here to donate via Paypal. You can donate with your Paypal account or if you don't have a Paypal account, with your credit card. Any amount, great or small, is important and appreciated.

We will announce when we reach the $1,600 mark. On that blog post, we will also acknowledge those who donated so please indicate in the Paypal instruction window whether you'd like to be acknowledged or prefer to remain anonymous.

UPDATE: many thanks to all our donors - within a few hours, we are already over halfway to our goal. I will announce here when we reach $1,600. To answer jsam's question, yes, indicate in the Special Instructions whether you'd like to be publicly acknowledged. But it's not essential - I will email all donors to confirm whether you'd like to be acknowledged anyway.

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Comments 1 to 19:

  1. Ah, I'd been expecting a special "donations" form. The only spot I could find to leave a note was under "Add special instructions to the seller". At the time I decided "nope, that can't be it" so I've left no message. Is that where you want people to indicate anonymity or otherwise? Or have I missed the point altogether?

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  2. FYI, about exchange rates.  The donation form is in terms of Australian dollars (AUD).  If one googles "exchange rate", there is a handy converter at the top of the results page.  It shows, for example, that 1AUD = 1.03 USD (or 1 USD = 0.97 AUD), and 1 AUD = 0.79 Euro.  However, Paypal adds a 2.5% currency conversion fee, so the end result today through Paypal is that 1USD = 0. 945830 AUD (or 1 AUD = 1.057272 USD).

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  3. I want to donate but why not let me donate in US$ since that is the currancy you want?  Donation will be converted to AUD then back to US$.  I didn't see any way to donate in US$.


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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Paypal

  4. The Journal's publication fee page is given here. They may bill SkS in UK Pounds (1000), Euros (1200) or US dollars (1600). Since the payment will coming from an Australian account, it will have to be converted into one of those currencies from Australian dollars. It would not have been practical to set up a foreign currency account in Australia just for this purpose.

    When you pay amount X in AUD, PayPal will tell you how much that is your local currency before you finalize the payment and you will be able to go back and change it if you want to.

    If you have any comments about anonymity or anything else, you have the option to "add special instructions to the seller". Alternatively, you can email John Cook at:

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  5. In my experience PayPal will let you set up several currency-specific accounts within your main account. So for example we have CAD, USD and EUR sections to our account. In the PayPal web site go to "My Account" > "My Profile" > "My money" and in the "PayPal balance" section click "Currencies".  Then you (SkS) can add a new currency.

    It would seem to make sense to receive the donations in the donator's currency and only convert once you know what currency you will be paying with. Note that money laundering laws prevent (or so PayPal claims) you from depositing foreign currency into a bank in your own country, even if that account is in the the foreign currency. But PayPal will convert it for you at their going fee and allow you to then put the (remaining) equivalent in your domestic bank account.

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  6. If we save 2% by reducing one step of currency conversion, then over the whole amount of $1,600 we will have saved $32. This hardly seems worth all the extra set-up trouble in terms of multiple sub-accounts for different currencies.

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  7. I usually give to SkS at the end/beginning of the year. A paper that more thorrowly investigates the consensus (the biggest attack point of big oil/coal) makes me exceed my planned giving budgets ... we need this paper, and we need it free.

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  8. You don't need to complain about the donation being in AUD if you live in OZ such as in my case.The AUD go far better than they used to 15 or even 10yago, because of massively favourable exchange rate. Minor 2-3% exchange fees don't change this big picture, that donation is now far easier than ever for me.

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  9. Just letting you all know our goal of $1,600 was met. As Dana published this blog post at 1am my time, we got halfway while I was blissfully sleeping. While I was on the train to campus, the donors quickly got us fully over the line. Thanks to all the donors, I'm blown away by the generosity and passion shown by SkS readers. Will publish a blog post with more details soon.

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  10. Thanks to all who donated!  Very cool to have a citizen science paper open access-funded via crowd sourcing, and within 9 hours!  Great to see so much support of this important work.  I think everyone will be very pleased with the quality of the research and conclusions.

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  11. Thanks for all the support guys. 9 hours! Awesome

    The paper will be worth it. Hopefully JC will have more details on publication date soon.

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  12. What a hoot.  I was thinking, "Well, I'll have to wait till May 1, and then I'll pitch in."  Yah, so much for that. 

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  13. Oh yah: congratulations, well done, etc.  What's next?

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  14. The paper will be published in a couple weeks.  We'll have a whole lot more to say about it then.

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  15. Dang! This was so quick that I didn't even see the original post, only the amended one with the "goal reached" update!!!

    Congratulations John and team. For one like me who has followed SkS since the early beginning, the evolution of the site is quite impressive. The collective publication record of the contributors is starting to add up too.

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  16. That is very impressive fund raising!

    Three cheers for those that dug deep.

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  17. I'm with Philippe - just clicked on the post this morning!  

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  18. Congrats!  I'd chip in, too, but didn't see it 'til now.

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  19. Many thanks to all who contributed. 

    PS - I am particularly anxious to see how much George Soros donated. 

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