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Why Support The Open Notebook?

Science journalists play a demanding role in society—we expect them to not only explain the newest advances in scientific research, but to also provide critical context and analysis on issues ranging from addiction science to genetic engineering to energy; to shed light on the human beings behind the research; and to serve as watchdogs to help ensure the continued freedom and integrity of the scientific enterprise.

To fulfill such a role takes skill. And the skills that science journalists need are endangered. Only a fraction of working science journalists are trained in formal journalism programs. And with the shrinking number of traditional staff jobs available, science journalism is fast moving toward a “gig economy” that relies on freelancers to produce work once done by staffers. One effect of that shift is that fewer journalists have the opportunity to master skills through the natural mentoring that takes place in newsrooms.

The Open Notebook is the only publication dedicated to providing science journalists with the tools to sharpen their skills. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution or a recurring donation to support our work.



We hear regularly from science writers at all levels of experience, from beginners to veterans, who say they view TON as an invaluable resource. The Open Notebook has been called “a gift to the science writer community” and “the textbook of science journalism.” (Read more about what people say about TON here.) In fact, at least two dozen journalism instructors have told us they use TON articles and other resources in their teaching.

Since 2010, The Open Notebook has welcomed some half a million unique visitors. Despite the science writing community’s small size, we have about 8,000 – 12,000 unique visitors a month.

TON is a valuable resource to science writers all over the globe. People from almost every country in the world have visited TON—and of those, more than 30 countries (including numerous developing nations) have sent at least 1,000 visitors each.

Creating and publishing these resources costs money. We pay writers competitive professional rates for every interview, feature, and story annotation. We also pay for professional editing and copyediting, as well as covering administrative costs such as website hosting and domain registration, site maintenance, and nonprofit registration fees.

TON is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. If we have helped you improve your skills, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution or a recurring donation to help support our work.