The payment system of the Fair Journal is based on a similar system as what is used on Youtube. There will be commercials on the site, and every time someone views an article, the companies pay a small amount. This means that the more readers an article has, the more money the researchers will be paid.
We will pay 55% of the ad revenue to the authors directly for a layman summary submitted by one or more of the original authors. The rest of the revenue will be used to pay salaries, servers, expansion, and reviewers. The Fair Journal’s payout will last the lifetime of an article. This means that at the end of a career scientists may have hundreds of summaries published, which all provides money for the researcher.
By using this strategy, it is our hope that some researchers may become completely independent of grants and impact factors in the future.
How much to expect?
It is not possible to say exactly how much money you will make, but a rule of thumb is that for each 1000 visits to a page Google AdSense will pay out 1-10$. It all depends on the type of ad and which country the visitors are from. With this approximation the author(s) would personally make 0.55-5.5$ per 1000 views.
Not many existing journals publish how many views an article has. However, the multidisciplinary journal PNAS has made this information available (although it is not possible to sort by number of views). The most cited article from 2016 has ~188 thousand views (2016-2018), while one of the least cites has ~7.5 thousand views. Using these data as an example, authors of a lowly viewed article may expect ~4-40$ in 2 years, while a highly viewed article would give ~100-1000$. This may not sounds like a lot, but remember that we do not only pay for the first 2 years of an article, but for its lifetime. Furthermore, these are most likely only the views from scientists, and with the Fair Journal’s approach, views from non-scientists and kids should also be taken into account. Some of the most viewed youtube channels are made for kids, and according to Forbes, the highest paid youtuber in 2018 was a kid’s channel called Ryan ToysReview (estimated $22 million in 2018). Would it not be great if our kids spend more time on learning about research instead of looking at toy commercials?
Tracking of the earnings
A layman summary will get a unique web page address, which will be tracked for number of visitors, and how much the page earns. Right now, we do not have a user-accessible tracking system for your earnings, but we are planning to implement this during 2020. The cartoon produced by the Fair Journal will also count into your earnings, except from when they are directly featured on the front page.
How are the earnings paid out?
The earnings are paid out on a monthly basis to a PayPal account of choice. You can set your own lower limit (starting from 20$) for when you want to have the money to be transferred.
Will I have to submit my bank information?
No. When it is time to receive your earnings, we need your PayPal account information. There is no need to provide this information at first submission.
Who is it paid out to?
You can select whom the money is going to. It can also be split between e.g. the first and the last author.
Will I have to pay taxes?
That depends on your home country. If the money is used for research you do not have to pay taxes in many countries.
Will I have to use the money for research?
We recommend that you do, but it is up to yourself. Taxation may be different dependent on the usage.