Blockchain for open scientific collaboration and impact
Authors: Mike Sharples, Emeritus Professor of Educational Technology Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, and Jason E. Barkeloo, Founder/Chair, Open Therapeutics, United Kingdom.
How do you set up an incentive system that rewards scientists for open collaboration? That was the issue tackled in “The Blockchain and Kudos: A Distributed System for Educational Record, Reputation and Reward”. That approach uses a blockchain, best known for recording cryptocurrency transactions, at the heart of a new scientific record and reward system. Organizations and intellectual workers are given an initial award of “educational reputation currency” (“Kudos”) stored on a blockchain. Then any person or institution can make a reputational transaction. An institution might announce a breakthrough by posting the findings on the blockchain and transferring some of its Kudos to the team that did the work. An individual could publish a paper on the blockchain which is timestamped and archived. Other people then transfer some of their Kudos to the author, to boost the reputation of that person’s work. The basic idea – combining blockchain, open collaboration, and reputation currency – is the core of the open science platform Therapoid. It provides researchers with ScienceCoins cryptocurrency when they collaborate. Researchers and students in economically challenged areas could particularly benefit from the monetary awards. This award model can be extended to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which can also be monetized.