A Mid-Year Update and Request

Here is a mantis shrimp. Enjoy! And read on. Christian Gloor/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Dear Readers,

We’re pausing, mid-year, to reflect on what TON has done so far in 2018, and to ask for your help. You’re busy making science writing great, and we’re busy trying to help, so we’ll keep this short. Here are some numbers for your consideration:

We’ve published 20 stories so far this year and brought our pitch database up to more than 170 pitches.

Did you miss some? We’ve written about navigating conflicts of interest, about negotiating rates for freelance assignments, about evaluating story ideas before pitching, about crafting winning fellowship proposals, about the making of Maggie Koerth-Baker’s barnburner about the panda who was “really, ridiculously good at sex”. And a lot more. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and dig in.

So far this year, we’ve had 40,000 unique visitors from 167 countries.

More stats for the stats-hungry: The Open Notebook has had about half a million unique visitors since launching in 2010. We get between 8,000 and 13,000 unique visitors a month, and they come from almost every country in the world. More than 30 countries (including numerous developing nations) have sent TON at least 1,000 visitors each.

3,500 people have visited The Open Notebook at least 15 times this year.

About 20,000 people have visited the site more than 50 times over the years, which we take as a sign that the journalism community views TON as essential reading.

Keeping The Open Notebook running costs more than $2,500 per week.

Where does the money go? We believe professional writers deserve professional-caliber wages. We pay competitive rates for all features, interviews, and annotations. In addition, every story is professionally edited and copyedited. And keeping the lights on requires covering administrative costs such as website maintenance and hosting, domain registration, fees to the State of Wisconsin, and more.

If 400 peoplejust 1 percent of all the people who’ve visited The Open Notebook so far this yearcontribute $10/month, we will meet our mid-year fundraising goal.

We depend on our readers’ support. Past donors and those who make recurring, monthly donations have made the stories we’ve published this year possible. We’re grateful to our supporters for their contributions!

If The Open Notebook has made a difference for you, please consider making a monthly, tax-deductible contribution to support science journalism.


The Open Notebook has earned a GuideStar Gold Seal for our commitment to transparency in sharing information important to donors.



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