Project image courtesy of Andrea Albini © Andrea Albini
Project image courtesy of Andrea Albini © Andrea Albini

Crowdfunding and Academia

The journey of Ex Novo got off to a very good start, running a successful crowdfunding campaign that exceeded all our expectations. Establishing and designing a scientific journal from scratch not only requires time and commitment, but it also entails expenses and budget planning. Given the grim economic situation of research funding within humanities, we decided not to wait for a grant coming in, and to adopt a different strategy to finance our project. Not just high tech start-ups succeed on crowdfunding. Over the last two years, crowdfunding in academia has emerged as an important alternative funding mechanism for scientific research. Indeed, unless private funds come into play, scholars are chain grant writing, submitting one grant and making sure the next one is ready to go. Well, crowdfunding is a strategy that can take some of the pressure off. As effectively stated by dr. Jeanne Garbarino (Director of Science Outreach at Rockefeller University)

Science crowdfunding is a potential feedback mechanism to help scientists target interested parties to fund their research, allowing for greater transparency and accountability. People have been saying that science is inaccessible, that scientists are locked up in their ivory towers and we do not know how our tax dollars being used. Crowdfunding could be a mechanism to help improve that system, which can lead to both increased publicity and financial contributions” (, accessed 19 Oct 2016).

It is exactly towards direction that we embarked on this project. The 30th of November 2015 we launched a crowdfunding campaign on one of the best-known online platforms, Kickstarter, placing Ex Novo as academic project within the Publishing category. In thirty days, we closed our funding campaign going well beyond the goal set initially (3000 euros): by December 30, we had raised 4.070 euros with 68 backers. The money enabled us to cover publishing costs, such as inscription to the public registry, copyright fees, printing and distribution of the journal, as well as re-designing and implementing the website.

Crowdfunding for scientific research will undoubtedly continue to grow, opening up not only new funding possibilities but also challenging the current ways of communicating and sharing science.

 Ex Novo Crowdfunding campaign explained in two minutes!