The 450 Movement


It’s amazing how quickly a perspective can change.


A certain irony is: I don’t really need the money now.


My corporate consulting rate is $250 USD per hour. In some circles, that’s unthinkably large. In others it’s embarrassingly small. Pick your poison.


Universities, throughout every decision they’ve ever made in the last 30 years, have made it very clear that they are businesses. You work for a business. A university may claim to have higher values and they may blather on about them more often, but it is an institution run by professional business administrators. Often they used to work at large banks, hedge funds, higher levels of government, other financial institutions, et al.


I have no call to arms, no banners to shake at the sky.


Wait, aren’t you that open science guy?


What about community journals, not-for-profit journals, and society journals struggling to get by?

I will review their papers. Even now, in my often-dilapidated corporate state. Quickly, and well, and for nothing. It will not even occur to me to charge them money. That is unthinkable and unfair.

Aren’t you holding up the work of people who need the publications?

No. I am offering the journal group the chance to employ me. Wherever possible, I will tell the editor that this is happening. It should take no longer than a regular review acceptance. Either party is entirely entitled at any point to tell me to go fuck myself, and this is FINE. Contracts are often not established for a variety of reasons. This is just A-OK.

If *I* did this, wouldn’t I get in trouble?

From who? Who are they going to rat you out to, your mum? They just asked for a commercial arrangement, you provided one. And they’re going to complain if they don’t like it?

  • investment (reviewing papers takes ages and prevents you advancing your career, making money elsewhere, or sitting on the couch and staring happily at the ceiling) and
  • return (thankless task, where how many papers you reviewed and how well you did that job counts for nothing). And yes, I know about Publons, where you can see all the reviews I did for free.
  1. Write to an editor at a small community journal and offer to review manuscripts within an area of mutual interest.
  2. Come up with a sci comm seminar and teach it at a local school.
  3. Put a statement on your faculty website that says ‘I will help any graduate student, within reason, for free, with no questions asked’.
  4. Offer to read people’s resumes or conduct mock job interviews.
  5. Set up email alerts so you can capture and review preprints in your area.

I’m an editor and you’re really pissing me off.

So write to someone within your journal’s organisational structure, someone that works for the publishing company that owns your journal and gets paid to do that work, and tell them to pay me.

Anything else?




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