PeerJ, an open access academic journal publisher with 4 million views and more than 1 million downloads, announced that it is accepting Bitcoin payments.
Academic Journal PeerJ Accepts Bitcoin
The award-winning publication PeerJ, with editors from prestigious universities such as Harvard and Oxford, uses an innovative business model, which does not charge users for reading content. Authors are instead charged –but at a much lower rate than in traditional publications — for a lifetime membership fee, which can now be paid in bitcoin. It aims to increase access to knowledge for the often poor university leavers who are unable to afford the hundreds of dollars per month charged by traditional journal publishers.
“We’re the first academic publisher to start accepting Bitcoin for its peer-reviewed Open Access charges in the life sciences, biology, medicine, and computer science,” stated a PeerJ representative in a blog post, before adding “Go blockchain!”
PeerJ publishes three journals, PeerJ (Life, Bio & Health Sciences), PeerJ Computer Science, and PeerJ Preprints. Founded in 2012 with an investment of almost one million dollars by O’Reilly media, it was awarded the “Publishing Innovation” of the year award by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers in September 2013. Meanwhile, PeerJ’s CEO Jason Hoyt was selected as one of the “Ten Top Tech Innovators” of the year by The Chronicle of Higher Education in April 2013. The publication is somewhat unique as all of its articles are published using a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Academia Increasingly Interested in Bitcoin Technology
PeerJ’s acceptance of Bitcoin payments is a further sign of academia’s increasing interest in blockchains in general, and Bitcoin in particular. London’s prestigious Imperial College Business School launched a course on Bitcoin’s blockchain funded by KPMG, Citigroup and CME Group and Cambridge University are planning on launching “three to four” Fintech courses in the coming years.
Meanwhile, America’s two top business schools; UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and MIT’s Sloan School of Management are both planning to launch a Fintech course focusing on Bitcoin and blockchains according to a recent report, which quotes Raghu Rau, the director for the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, stating:
We’re seeing a lot of interest from mainstream financial industries and from students who want to work at these financial technology companies.
Academia’s increasing interest in Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, follows what is shaping up to be the year blockchain tech goes mainstream. Activity in the sector exploded in the past few months as the mainstream financial sector now considers the new technology a respectable true innovation — so much so that a CFTC commissioner stated that the blockchain technology could have averted Lehman’s collapse.
A number of differently structured consortiums have been launched. These include R3, a banking consortium, focusing on the use of Bitcoin’s blockchain technology for transaction clearing; Hyperledger, an industry consortium with all-star participants such as Intel; and IBM focusing on the wider industrial uses of blockchain technology and other start-ups employing an interdisciplinary approach to blockchain development.
Bitcoin, however, remains the most valued, popular, and widely accepted blockchain with 200,000 daily transactions on average. Therefore, groundbreaking academic publishers such as PeerJ are a welcomed addition to Bitcoin’s open access ecosystem, which has been operating nonstop since its creation.
Can Bitcoin acceptance increase access to educational material worldwide? Let us know in comments below!
Images courtesy of PeerJ