In 2011, Tim Peterson was your archetypal frustrated academic. He’d just landed a paper in the journal Cell but had grown disillusioned with the publishing process after nine months of back-and-forth among his team, the reviewers, and the editors.
“I was just totally disgusted by the whole process,” says Mr. Peterson, now 37 and working as a postdoctoral fellow in biology at Harvard University. “I remember when I stood up and said I don’t want to be a part of this anymore.”
So Mr. Peterson began to think. Then he taught himself to code. And finally, on May 14, all that thinking and coding converged to form a website, Onarbor.
The site is intended as a publishing and funding platform for academics, kind of like a Kickstarter for scholarly work. Among its features is that it allows donors to support projects with either Bitcoin or Dogecoin, two popular cryptocurrencies.