Science crowdfunding in Japan – Its characteristics and future problems

Science crowdfunding in Japan – Its characteristics and future problems

Author: Yuko Ikkatai – The University of Tokyo, Japan

Co-author: Hiromi Yokoyama – The University of Tokyo

‘Crowdfunding’ is a process of raising funds on the Internet. In academia, crowdfunding is developing as a way to obtain research funding. In 2012, a donation-based academic crowdfunding platform called was launched in the US. In Japan, the reward-based academic crowdfunding platform, academist, was launched in 2014. As of September 2017, had funded 730 projects, with a total funding of $7,508,114; academist funded 41 projects, providing a total funding of 57,713,294 yen. The sites that crowdfund research funds, where citizens directly support scientific projects, have processes that are quite different from traditional scientific processes, in that no form of expert peer-review is present. In place of this academic requirement, requires collegial endorsement at the time of application. In addition, both and academist are staffed by individuals with scientific backgrounds. In the natural sciences, it is desirable for the result of the funded research to be contributed to a peer-reviewed journal; however, the products of crowdfunding do not necessarily lend themselves to publication in a journal. Other forms of presentation of one’s achievements are available, such as outreach presentations. This paper focuses on the unique characteristics of science crowdfunding. We will discuss why Japanese scientists have challenged science crowdfunding, why those in Japan that support it do so, and what is the perception gap in science crowdfunding in Japan, between scientists and the public.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices