Archive of the Research Cooperative (ARC)

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Work interests: History of the Research Cooperative

The Research Cooperative

Preferred contact method: Reply to post in blog/forum/group
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Contact: email = researchcooperative atto gmail dotto com
Favourite publications: Research Cooperative Review (RCR), Short Communications of the Research Cooperative (SCRC)

Co-op News 2012

(For other years, see Co-op Diary Archive)

9th December

Created a new country focus group, Research Co-op Portugal, and a new topic focus group - Philosophy.

7th December

Changed the top page head description from: "An international, not-for-profit organisation (NPO), est. 2001. We support research-based communication in all subjects, languages, and media. Thanks to Editage and Medlist International for practical support and advice." to "Our forums and groups support research-based communication in all subjects, languages, and media. Thanks to Editage and Medlist International for practical support and advice".

7th November

The last two weeks have been crazy. At the same tme as I was traveling (in Britain, after a long journey from Japan), Medlist began sponsoring a promotional effort for our network, which has led to at least a thousand new members joining, from all over the planet.

The response has been great, but I have had many sleepless night trying to keep up with the new membership applications, and trying to make sensible greetings for at least a few of the new members. Now I am back at work in japan, at my museum, and have many other writing duties to take care of.

Still, I look forward to every new member and hope that we all can benefit somehow eventually. Today I added a new group page for speakers of Chinese (Mandarin). Yongfeng is our newly appointed "Chinese Language Editor" for that page and for the website. We need language editors for other languages too! Please apply if you know well any language other than English!

27th October

Over the last several days, I have added a language index and a city index, under the Search tab in the main menu.

9th September

Last week I added a new group called "Topical Notes at the Research Cooperative". This was required in response to a professional writer who wanted to provide an article with a link to a company that pays her to write stories that are in some way linked to the company. I checked the company, and it seemed legitimate, so I then suggested she write a story on a topic related to the company and also of possible interest to our members. To make it clear that such writing has been sponsored, I requested the author to give a self description of her occupation, and also created a specific location in our network for such sponsored writing. That way, likely sources of bias can be easily identified by readers (I hope). These are not advertisements, in the sense that our network is not paid to host the stories, and retains editorial control. The content provided by such writers can help us reach a larger audience.

29th August

Added a much needed "How to invite others" tab under "Invite" in the main menu.

28th August

Made some new groups for later posting in RCR. Gave advice on journal titles to a start-up publisher.

27th August

Sent our RCR issue 20, with new polciy on group development.

26th August

Added a new topic group for 'business & marketing', areas for which more than 100 members have expressed interest in their profiles.

18th August

Composed a note on 'Starting a new research journal', and linked this to our 'Create a group' page.

Added a Privacy Policy statement linked to a tab in the footer (see the foot of any page on our network).

Adjust the position of our Air BnB advertisement to make it more obvious in the footer. Here is what it looks like:

Air BnB offers information on affordable homestays worldwide.


Good for students and researchers travelling on limited budgets.

Using the links here will help the Research Cooperative receive a small commission.

See some of the options in Dehli, Heidelberg, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Madison, Paris.

18th June

Changed the Sign Up question to a different number, removed the Captcha. This might encourage more people to join!

Also, changed the status update questions from

"Hello... what is your plan today? to is the weather today? Or work?

Who knows. People may respond to different questions differently, so we should vary these over time - to make things more interesting, I hope.

20th May

Added a new page calledThe Publisher List where simple links to academic and educaitonal publishers can be placed on request.

Completed construction of a new page, 'My university', to introduce university focus groups. After meetingAkira Yamasita of Osaka City University last week, I created a focus group called RC Osaka City University.

16th May

My brother in New Zealand, John Matthews, resigned in April as assistant administrator of our network, as he was unable to offer much help. The volunteer position is now vacant and expressions of interest in taking on this role are welcome at any time.

Last week, invitations to members in Tunisia and Argentina were sent out, inviting them to join our focus groups for those two countries respectively. A few members have joined each group. See:Research Co-op Argentina and Research Co-op Tunisia.

11th May

Today, many more new members joined from Chinese speaking regions of Asia, after our invitations were sent out three days ago.

I have also confirmed that our domain name,, has been registered and paid for. The next expiry date is 14th April, 2020. Please remind me to renew it at least a few days before then!

8th May

Today, invitations in simplified Chinese, Mandarin, and English were sent out to countries across the Chnese speaking regions of Asia. Many new members have joined from Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and China.

The private questions asked at Sign Up have also been simplified today... the questions are now more logical, which will make it easier for new members to explain why they are joining our network.

7th May

Added group for discussions of copyrght and intellectual property, and sent invitations to approx. 800 colleagues across our network. Added cross links between theImage Workshop and our pages for information on image collections and film and video collections. Put panels with links to our network Photos and Videos back onto the top page (at bottom left) so that these will again by accessible from each member's own profile page (My Page).

4th May

The procedure for supporting journals with group pages and links will be as follows, from today. If a journal editor or publisher asks for a journal to be listed by our network, it will be listed with a simple direct link in our journal list. The requester will be then invited to set up a group support page themselves, for subsequent approval by the Research Co-op administrator. This will avoid the introduction of furthersupport groups that lack actual support from the responsible editor or publisher. After listing, the requester (e.g. editor) will be sent the following message:

Dear Editor,

Your journal is now listed here. If you wish, please apply here to start a journal support group,

Thanks, Admin.

23rd March

Finished setting up the new group page for fashion and design.

3rd March

More new members joined. I communicated with a few of them. Established a new 'microbiology' focus group for research communication, but have not yet invited existing members of the network to join the group. To do that, I have to find members with an interest in microbiology, find their contact addresses, and then send them invitations, which is a time consuming process. I have to do the same for every new group established, and this limits how many new groups can be established each year. I have been giving priority to groups for which there are potentially at least 50-100 interested members in our network.

Since the beginning of the year, a few new subscription payments have been received. These are currently enought o cover about 2 months of basic hosting costs for the network.

If the average voluntary payment is $5.00 per year then 6 paying members would cover the basic cost of one month of hosting of our network (approx $30/month). To pay the basic cost for the network for one year, we therefore need 6 x 12 members = 72 paying members. The subscription system itself costs about $20 per month, as a special add on after hosting charges, so in fact we need 10 paying members for one month of costs and 120 paying members to cover our full annual cost of about 12 x $50 = $600.

To run a single promotional campaign like the one currently underway costs about $2000.00 and is needed at least once a year. If our paying subscriber numbers rise to 600, then the network will be capable of paying for itself, not counting the unpaid voluntary time of the network owner and administrator.

Since a very low percentage of members (approx. 10/3000 = .33 %) are willing or able to use the online payment system, to reach such a number of paying subscribers our total membership would need to rise to (100/0.33) x 600 = 182,000 members. The promotional costs to reach such a large number, assuming only linear increases and responses, might be about $364,000, but this can be paced over an extended period of time. By that stage (i.e. in several years time), there would also be more costs to manage the network, as we would need to start paying for professional administrative and secretarial support.

There is clearly no profit likely in establishing and managing this network, other than the personal satisfaction gained from developing a communication service that may be useful for many people eventually. Any operational income will be immediately absorbed by operational costs.

These are all ball-park figures. It may be possible to develop some income for the network from advertising. Future members may be more willing to pay for the service as it expands and becomes more useful for more people. We might even find members or institutions that are able to cover the costs, as sponsors or new managers or owners of the network. At that point, we will need a clear plan of action for succession that maintains the open access rationale for the existence of the network.

15th February

I've been busy this week receiving new members, and also setting up a new country focus groups and new research communication topic groups. Most new members are researchers, but a few people have mentioned translation skills. Our invitation letter has been translated into Chinese, and our mailing support company, Medlist, is considering how best to use this.

7th February

Sent an OK to Andrew Skeet for mailing of invitations via Medlist (English and Spanish versions). This might start in the next 24 hours.

Uploaded final version of Anne Fabian's article for our first issue of Short Communications of the Research Cooperative.

3rd February

Added 'music' as a research communication topic group

Counted some beans. We have a total of six paid subscribers. It's a start. I began building this social network in 2011, before Facebook became famous, before Ning existed, and now we have six paid subscribers. Our initial public offering (IPO) is expected in 2110. Early expressions of interest are welcome.

24th January

Revised 'How to use this site' page.

'Science editor' and 'science translator' are among the most common phrases found on the Internet, but there are many other related phrases which can lead visitors to our network:

Checked Google results for following keyword pairs (abbreviations used in list only, not in search panel)::

research editors No. 2 of c.468,000,000 (r. editor - not ranked on first page of 847,000,000)

research translators No. 2 of c. 101,000,000 (r. translator - not ranked on first page of 679,000,000)

research writers No. 2 of c. 353,000,000 ( r. writer No. 2 of 564,000,000)

science editors No. 11 of c. 388,000,000 (s. editor - not ranked on first page of 1,250,000,000)

science translators No. 2 of c. 81,300,000 (s. translator - not ranked on first page of 1,060,000,000)

science writers No. 2 of c. 367,000,000 (s. writer - not ranked on first page of 512,000,000)

academic editors No. 11 of c. 59,900,000 (a. editor - not ranked on first page of 211,000,000)

academic translators No. 2 of 46,800,000 (a. translator - not ranked on first page of 71,900,000)

academic writers - not ranked on first page of 74,300,000 (a. writers - not ranked on first page of 66,400,000

research communication - No. 11 of 1,130,000,000.

23rd January

Mailed envelopes with Research Co-op brochures to 200+ addresses all over Kansai region of Japan.

Added 'Need help?' page under the Main tab of the Main menu. Added quick return links to the FAQ top page on every page of answers. Now it is possible toskim through the FAQ more quickly.

22nd January

Demoted Chat to the second subtab and promoted Photos to the 2nd and 3rd tabs under a new main tab called Media. The main tab (and all that is under it) have been promoted further by shifting them leftwards. Fixed the poorly written 'Join a group' page under the 'Groups' tab. Now it goes straight to the point with the practical details.

21st January

Rewrote draft invitation letter for a Medlist mailing effort planned in the near future. Posted this on the Inviters and Greeters message board.

Posted profile for the Research Cooperative at

20th January

Redsigned the tab for Publishing & Production. Supervised envelope preparation for mailing of Japanese-language Co-op brochure to 250 institutional addresses around Kansai region in Japan. The actual mailing out will be gradual over the next few weeks.

18th January

Created new group forInviters and Greeters and posted tips no. 8.

15th January

Posted Tips no. 7. Continued reorganisation of menu subtabs.

14th January

Now working on the menu system.

13th January

Sent out Tips for Networking, No. 7