Digital Science releases 'blockchain' report

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Digital Science has released a report titled: Blockchain for Research – Perspectives on a New Paradigm for Scholarly Communication.

The report offers a perspective on blockchain technology – a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography – and how it could impact scholarly communication and research. It also features views from global industry experts on how future technologies in the scholarly arena will be impacted by blockchain technology.

In support of this new technology, Digital Science is offering a special Catalyst Grant of up to $30,000 / £25,000 specifically aimed at blockchain technologies in the scholarly arena.

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has the promise to radically change many industries. This report zooms in on its potential to transform scholarly communication and research, focusing on important initiatives in this field. The report highlights how blockchain technology can touch many critical aspects of scholarly communication, such as transparency, open science, and reproducibility.

The report includes:

  • An introduction into “What is blockchain technology?”;
  • A discussion around the challenges in scholarly communication including the reproducibility crisis, correctly assigning credit and the peer review process;
  • Thoughts on how blockchain technology can be applied to certain activities such as managing research and data, disseminating content, offering new metrics and supporting alternative economic models;
  • Latest examples and initiatives of how blockchain technology is currently being utilised in the scholarly arena; and
  • A look to the future of blockchain technology for scholarly communication & research.

Joris Van Rossum, Digital Science’s director of special projects says: 'Blockchain technology has the opportunity to positively impact scholarly practices and for example could even change the role publishers play in the scholarly ecosystem. The potential extends to solving urgent crises in scholarly communication, such as around costs, trust, and universal accessibility to scientific information. This report for the first time digs deep into this promise with a look towards the future.'