PainScience.com has never been a non-profit website, but it has always been an idealistic, low-profit website, a small business that earns me just enough to take care of my family. The site is entirely reader-supported by book sales, memberships, and donations (and never any ads, ever, because modern internet advertising is super gross). If you value this resource, please consider a membership — you’ll support a fine source of high quality health science journalism, keeping it ad-free and independent… and you’ll get extra content for your money.
Cancelling membership is easy, and will stop future charges.
Full premium subscription to the PainSci Updates newsletter, with your own full-text RSS feed and premium post archives. Free subscribers get 1-3 posts per week, members get an extra, beefier post every week or two. There are over a thousand regular post archives❐ going back more than a decade.
Access to several substantial members-only areas in the main PainSci library — like articles within articles. In every case, the free content is still substantial — but members get more. More dorky detail, more references. As of early 2022, there are ten major members-only areas around the site, with more major and many more minor ones coming soon.
Audio versions of seven “classic” PainSci articles, all reader favourite for 10-20 years.
Membership does not hide advertisements (as so many membership programs do), because there are no ads to hide, never have been, and never will be. But I can hide first party “ads,” my own prompts for donations/subscriptions — members do not have to see most of those.
More benefits coming soon
The membership program launched in December 2021, and is critical for the future of the website. It got a start last summer with the premium newsletter, and I worked hard through the fall to create other benefits for paying subscribers — making it more of a membership than “just” an excellent newsletter subscription. Here are some other benefits I am considering. These are definitely not guaranteed yet! But at least a couple of them are almost certain to happen, and quite soon.
In addition to large members-only content areas, I will probably also set aside many smaller sections of articles just for members — a bunch of interesting digressions and embellishments.
Website features like reading-position bookmarks, a dark mode, and reading history.
Discounts on books, perhaps increasing with membership duration, until eventually they become free. Also, I hope to work out a way for book customers to earn membership (e.g. buy a boxed set, get a free year of membership, that kind of thing — the ecommerce programming is tricky).
Ask-me-anything style video meet-ups with readers.
A directory to connect science-respecting professionals and patients.
No refunds! 🙂
While I do offer refunds for books (and always have), I do not offer membership refunds. Membership is supportive patronage with good perks, not a satisfaction-guaranteed “product.” Please vote with your dollars for good science journalism with conviction! If the content turns out not to be a good fit for you, please just cancel and consider your money well-spent on a good cause.
If you aren’t cool with that up front, it’s not a good match anyway.
Is membership for patients or professionals? Both!
The editorial policy of PainScience.com is to only publish content that can be easily understood and enjoyed by anyone: any kind of professional, or any keen patient. Obviously some content skews a little more one way or the other, but basically it’s all for everyone — and pros always have the option of reading further, or delving into more footnotes.
I could easily justify a more expensive membership for pros, and I might create a pro tier someday. But for now the price is set deliberately at a level that is in the middle: less than I could ask from pros, and maybe a touch high for patients, but just fine for my favourite kind of readers in either category.