Milestone: Most Experience Reports Ever Published In a Year

We’re excited to announce that as of Saturday, September 9, the Erowid crew has reached a new high for the number of experience reports published in a single calendar year. We’ve not seen such an active year of reviewing since 2007, when by year’s end, 4,461 reports had been published.

As of September 26, with three months left in 2018, we’ve published 4,671 reports, exceeding the decade-old record.

Late last year in November, as we began working on issue #30 of Erowid Extracts, focused on the Experience Vaults, we realized that it might be possible to beat 2007’s record number if we set the goal early. Crew members Spoon and SellieG together took on this herculean task and immediately started ramping up their reviewing of triaged submissions, publishing hundreds of reports in the final two months of 2017.

But to beat 2007, they and other reviewers would need to shoot for publishing 400 reports per month in 2018. And they did it, publishing 519 reports each month for the first nine months of 2018!

Erowid Extracts #30 goes into retrospective detail about the type of information that is found in experience reports, the perspectives of volunteers (in their own words), and reflections on how the collection has developed since its inception.

Erowid relies on the help of dedicated volunteers to read, filter, flag, grade, categorize, and edit submitted reports. It takes around ten hours to go through the training program and then a few hours a week to be a part of the team. If you’re interested in joining the Erowid Crew, please apply at We’d love your help!

The newest issue of Erowid Extracts, dedicated to information about experience reports and our process of editing and reviewing, is available to current members. Erowid Center is a non-profit run solely on donations of members and supporters. Though much of the work publishing experience reports is done by volunteers, it requires staff and technology to keep the project growing and improving. The full-issue PDF and individual articles will be released publicly in the next six to nine months. (All back issues are available at

Experience Vault Micro Update: Published Date Added

Summary: Added a new field “Date Published” to Experience Reports and moved all code over to use that instead of “Date Reviewed”. If anyone sees errors in the Experience Vault lists or What’s New, please let me know.


Changes to the Experience Vaults are hard because I wrote the code for almost all of it back in 2000 and then a major update in 2004. All written in ancient Perl that’s extremely fragile and a pain to set up as a development environment. On the plus side, it mostly works.

As a preliminary step towards a couple of other new features for crew and public, yesterday I added the very obvious “date published” field. We’d been skating by using Reviewed Date (the date that the first reviewer edited the report and marked it ready to be live) as the date published. But there are lots of reasons why one doesn’t want to have a single value for editing history and publication date. So, editing history is now properly just editing history and we don’t have to jury-rig and falsify the editing date in order to have the date of publication be correct. woo. :]

Date published is now the primary sort.

It’s a tiny update, but because of the complexity and fragility of the old code, the perl library I chose to use was failing in weird ways and it took five hours to debug to the point where I realized I could solve the problem by moving the logic out into a separate library (namespace) and it all magically just started working.

Experience Vault List Minor Update : Cellar Button

After a phone call with an expert earlier this month where Earth was reminded how few people understand the more technical options in the Experience Vaults, we decided to try adding a button to the bottom of search results and lists to show Cellar reports.

So, now viewing search results lists will tell the reader whether there are matching results in the Cellar:

Search Experiences for 1,4-Butanediol

Before this week, the “Show Cellar” button only showed up if there were no reports matching a given search. There has always* been an Advanced Search option to include Cellar reports in a search, but very few people used this option.

We’re not 100% certain this is a good idea, because we don’t want to highlight Cellared reports too much. We don’t want to shame authors for writing reports our triagers and editors consider below our cutoffs, nor do we want people to have to slog through reading reports that are considered to contain data but have some serious problem that caused them to be relegated to the Cellar.

Friday Night Bug Fixing and Random Noodling

I spent a pleasant few hours this evening going through my to do list and clearing out easy micro bugs, including weird little issues in the donations area that only affect a small number of folks.

Fire updated the donations area for the higher level donations to make sure that Solve Et Elucido is showing up properly. We’re very happy with Vibrata’s artistic play on the Erowid logo and really like the small 12×12 inch (30x30cm) size.

Solve Et Elucido in hand
Solve Et Elucido in hand

We know it’s out of the price range of most of our supporters, but one of the curious things about trying to fundraise for a non-profit is the need to have items available at a number of levels. So, along with creating a new Drug Geek shirt and working on stickers for normal supporters, we have to work on developing unique items that can be available only to people able to donate hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Today I also fixed a couple of small issues in the Experience Vaults that was causing certain types of reports marked for Admin Attention to get lost because they fell out of the review process into a bucket that was rarely looked at by the team, instead of having reports highlighted.