Decentralizing Science: Towards an Interoperable Open Peer Review Ecosystem using Blockchain



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Tenorio Fornés, Antonio and Pérez-Tirador, Elena and Sánchez Ruiz-Granados, Antonio A. and Hassan, Samer (2020) Decentralizing Science: Towards an Interoperable Open Peer Review Ecosystem using Blockchain. (Unpublished)

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Science publication and its Peer Review system strongly rely on a few major industry players controlling most journals (e.g. Elsevier), databases (e.g. Scopus) and metrics (e.g. JCR Impact Factor), while keeping most articles behind paywalls. Critics to such system include concerns about fairness, quality, performance, cost, unpaid labor, transparency, and accuracy of the evaluation process. The Open Access movement has tried to provide free access to the published research articles, but most of the aforementioned issues remain. In such context, decentralized technologies such as blockchain offer an opportunity to experiment with new models for science production and dissemination relying on a decentralized infrastructure, aiming to tackle multiple of the current system shortcomings. This paper makes a proposal for an interoperable decentralized system for an open peer review ecosystem, relying on emerging distributed technologies such as blockchain and IPFS. Such system, named ``Decentralized Science'' (DecSci), aims to enable a decentralized reviewer reputation system, which relies on an Open Access by-design infrastructure, together with transparent governance processes. Two prototypes have been implemented: a proof-of-concept prototype to validate DecSci's technological feasibility, and a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) prototype co-designed with journal editors. In addition, three evaluations have been carried out: an exploratory survey to assess interest on the issues tackled, a set of interviews to confirm the main problems for editors, and another set of interviews to validate the MVP prototype. Additionally, the paper discusses the multiple interoperability challenges such proposal faces, including an architecture to tackle them. This work finishes with a review of some of the open challenges that this ambitious proposal may face.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:blockchain, decentralized systems, distributed systems, open access, open peer review, peer review
Subjects:Sciences > Computer science
ID Code:62296
Deposited On:28 Sep 2020 11:18
Last Modified:12 Jul 2021 07:32

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