Decentralized Science. Bringing transparency to academic peer reviewing

“P2P Models explores a new way of building collaborative platforms harnessing the blockchain. We are building a software framework to build decentralized infrastructure for collaborative economy organizations that do not depend on central authorities….

We are a team based at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), developing an ERC Granted research project led by Samer Hassan, Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Associate Professor at UCM. Thus, we combine research and software development efforts, and we have to navigate the jungle of academic papers and publications and survive the academic’s “publish or perish” curse.  As do many others, we think academic publication and peer reviewing can be improved in many ways, such as its fairness, quality, performance, cost, etc. Moreover, an oligopoly of publishers owns more than half of the market, making a large profit from the free work of editors, reviewers and authors. Fortunately, in P2P Models we are studying how blockchain based solutions can help us improve the governance and value distribution in online communities, and we decided to apply our own proposals to improve science publication and peer reviewing. This is how the Decentralized Science project was born, as an effort to solve the problems we were facing in academia and promote the values of Open Access and Open Science movements with the tools we were designing and researching in the P2P Models project….”

Decentralized Science. Bringing transparency to academic peer reviewing

“P2P Models explores a new way of building collaborative platforms harnessing the blockchain. We are building a software framework to build decentralized infrastructure for collaborative economy organizations that do not depend on central authorities….

We are a team based at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), developing an ERC Granted research project led by Samer Hassan, Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Associate Professor at UCM. Thus, we combine research and software development efforts, and we have to navigate the jungle of academic papers and publications and survive the academic’s “publish or perish” curse.  As do many others, we think academic publication and peer reviewing can be improved in many ways, such as its fairness, quality, performance, cost, etc. Moreover, an oligopoly of publishers owns more than half of the market, making a large profit from the free work of editors, reviewers and authors. Fortunately, in P2P Models we are studying how blockchain based solutions can help us improve the governance and value distribution in online communities, and we decided to apply our own proposals to improve science publication and peer reviewing. This is how the Decentralized Science project was born, as an effort to solve the problems we were facing in academia and promote the values of Open Access and Open Science movements with the tools we were designing and researching in the P2P Models project….”

Decentralized Science

“Through disruptive distributed technologies such as Blockchain, we both enable decentralization and relieve the pains of traditional publication processes.

 

This is accomplished by providing a reputation system of peer reviewers that will improve quality and ensure faster reviews and distribution, helping editors, reviewers and authors.”

 

Decentralized Science

“Through disruptive distributed technologies such as Blockchain, we both enable decentralization and relieve the pains of traditional publication processes.

 

This is accomplished by providing a reputation system of peer reviewers that will improve quality and ensure faster reviews and distribution, helping editors, reviewers and authors.”

 

Blockchain / Web3 Open Science Ecosystem – HackMD

“This pad’s goal is to map the projects that are developing new systems for open science using blockchain, specially the projects that are helping to improve science at any point of its workflow.

We aim to put those projects in contact, so new collaborations can emerge. The projects consists of different legal, structural, etc. phases – listing here is not an endorsement….”

Blockchain / Web3 Open Science Ecosystem – HackMD

“This pad’s goal is to map the projects that are developing new systems for open science using blockchain, specially the projects that are helping to improve science at any point of its workflow.

We aim to put those projects in contact, so new collaborations can emerge. The projects consists of different legal, structural, etc. phases – listing here is not an endorsement….”

The fundamental problem blocking open access and how to overcome it: the BitViews project

Abstract:  In our view the fundamental obstacle to open access (OA) is the lack of any incentive-based mechanism that unbundles authors’ accepted manuscripts (AMs) from articles (VoRs). The former can be seen as the public good that ought to be openly accessible, whereas the latter is owned by publishers and rightly paywall-restricted. We propose one such mechanism to overcome this obstacle: BitViews. BitViews is a blockchain-based application that aims to revolutionize the OA publishing ecosystem. Currently, the main academic currency of value is the citation. There have been attempts in the past to create a second currency whose measure is the online usage of research materials (e.g. PIRUS). However, these have failed due to two problems. Firstly, it has been impossible to find a single agency willing to co-ordinate and fund the validation and collation of global online usage data. Secondly, online usage metrics have lacked transparency in how they filter non-human online activity. BitViews is a novel solution which uses blockchain technology to bypass both problems: online AMS usage will be recorded on a public, distributed ledger, obviating the need for a central responsible agency, and the rules governing activity-filtering will be part of the open-source BitViews blockchain application, creating complete transparency. Once online AMS usage has measurable value, researchers will be incentivized to promote and disseminate AMs. This will fundamentally re-orient the academic publishing ecosystem. A key feature of BitViews is that its success (or failure) is wholly and exclusively in the hands of the worldwide community of university and research libraries, as we suggest that it ought to be financed by conditional crowdfunding, whereby the actual financial commitment of each contributing library depends on the total amount raised. If the financing target is not reached, then all contributions are returned in full and if the target is over-fulfilled, then the surplus is returned pro rata.

Academic-Led Journal Highlight: Interview with Naseem Naqvi

“When The British Blockchain Association decided to launch JBBA and began looking for the best means to publish the journal, Naqvi said he and his team were more concerned with soliciting quality articles and reaching the widest audience possible than with working with a known publisher. “Reputable publishers may impress some people but the majority of people are more interested in the quality of contents within the journal than who the publisher is,” explained Naqvi….”

Knowledgr

“Knowledgr is a network of structured, open-access micro-publications shared on a public blockchain that empowers scientists to self-govern how their research outputs are judged and rewarded. Knowledgr employs a transparent, community-derived, social-consensus algorithm that rewards observations, questions, and hypotheses with KNLG in proportion to each post’s intellectual value, as defined by the greater scientific community user base.

This format for communicating and rewarding scientific content creation establishes a new labor market for scientists that compensates their open-science efforts via evidence-based metrics designed to incentivize healthy, ethical, and efficient research behaviors….

All of the content published on Knowledgr’s blockchain will be openly available for anyone to use or reuse in anyway they see fit.

Everyone is able to earn KNLG for sharing their observations, questions, hypotheses and peer-review. Knowledgr creates a financial incentive for anyone, anywhere to share open knowledge….”

Decentralising scientific publishing: can the blockchain improve science communication?

Abstract:  We present a decentralised solution for managing scientific communication, based on distributed ledger technologies, also called blockchains. The proposed system aims to solve incentive problems displayed by traditional systems in scientific communication and publication. A minimal working model is presented, defining roles, processes, and expected results from the novel system. The proposed solution is viable, given the current status of blockchain technology, and should lead to a rethinking of current practices and their consequences for scientific communication.