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Blockchain in name only - why you should not use blockchain in scholarly publishing

Blockchain in name only - why you should not use blockchain in scholarly publishing

Ian Mulvany

June 12, 2019
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  1. Blockchain
    In
    Name
    Only
    How to think about blockchain in STM publishing
    @IanMulvany - Head of Transformation - SAGE Publishing

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  2. While discussing interoperable metadata and
    interchangeable standards is GOOD,
    blockchain is inappropriate for our industry
    because it is too complex, requires lack of
    trust to be valuable and does not offer as much
    potential ROI as other initiatives.

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  3. Why are people
    talking about this?

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  4. I’m going to propose that a possible solution to the
    growing problem of authentication and accounting in
    scholarly publishing may be found in the technology
    behind Bitcoin
    the blockchain.
    Phil Davis writing on The Scholarly Kitchen 2016
    Third-party companies have made huge profits from the
    work of scientists for many years, selling journals and
    reprints to a variety of institutions. In blockchain-
    powered scientific publishing, researchers would
    control whether or not institutions are required to pay to
    use their work, while making it freely available to the
    public and researchers alike, if they so wish.
    Manuel Martin is CEO and co-founder of Orvium.

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  5. I’m going to propose that a possible solution to the
    growing problem of authentication and accounting in
    scholarly publishing may be found in the technology
    behind Bitcoin
    the blockchain.
    Phil Davis writing on The Scholarly Kitchen 2016
    Third-party companies have made huge profits from the
    work of scientists for many years, selling journals and
    reprints to a variety of institutions. In blockchain-
    powered scientific publishing, researchers would
    control whether or not institutions are required to pay to
    use their work, while making it freely available to the
    public and researchers alike, if they so wish.
    Manuel Martin is CEO and co-founder of Orvium.
    KILL SCI-HUB !!!
    KILL Publishers !!!

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  6. Blockchain - X minute primer where X < 10

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  7. Blockchain
    Metadata
    Data

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  8. Blockchain
    Metadata
    Data
    Previous
    Hash
    Metadata
    Data
    Previous
    Hash
    Metadata
    Data

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  9. Blockchain
    Previous
    Hash
    Metadata
    Data
    Previous
    Hash
    Metadata
    Data
    Previous
    Hash
    Metadata
    Data
    Previous
    Hash
    Metadata
    Data

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  10. Blockchain - tamper proof

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  11. To prevent a coordinated attack transactions are
    designed to be slow - “proof of work”

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  12. We need:
    Previous
    Hash
    Metadata
    Distributed writers
    Lots of copies
    1 2
    A network with no
    trusted intermediary,
    and shared copies of
    the database
    4
    3
    Proof of work scheme
    to prevent 51% hack
    Incentive to
    participate

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  13. In STM we don’t have these things:
    1 2 4
    3
    Distributed writers
    Lots of copies
    A network with no
    trusted intermediary,
    and shared copies of
    the database
    Proof of work scheme
    to prevent 51% hack
    Incentive to
    participate
    Hard to get to scale
    across all publishers
    We have a high trust
    environment, lots of
    trusted intermediaries
    Anonymity is eventually
    pointless in STM -> low
    incentives for attack
    Existing incentive
    schemes too
    entrenched to be
    supplanted

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  14. Finally - idea is simple, but implementation is hard - case study - Bitcoin
    95% of transactions on the bitcoin network may be artificial
    Not secure
    Not egalitarian
    Not efficiently distributed Over 80% of mining is preformed by six mining pools
    $2.7M stolen from exchanges per day in 2018

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  15. Risks
    It will get attacked and hacked
    Vendor lock in
    Lack of technical capacity or attention within our organisations
    Who owns the transaction? Who owns a peer review?
    Reward systems in academic publishing are hard to shift

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  16. Opportunities
    Let’s us all talk about metadata
    Submissions as transactional events
    A global append only store
    Multiple copies, by design
    Transactional history of articles is interesting

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  17. Alternatives
    AWS S3
    DAT
    Kafka
    Solid Web Apps

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  18. Alternatives for your attention
    Metadata
    Standards
    Distributed
    Systems
    Open
    Publishing
    Systems

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