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Verified, Shared, Modular, and Provenance Based Research Communication with the Dat Protocol

Independent Researcher, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Publications 2019, 7(2), 40;
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers for Openness in Scholarly Publishing)
A scholarly communication system needs to register, distribute, certify, archive, and incentivize knowledge production. The current article-based system technically fulfills these functions, but suboptimally. I propose a module-based communication infrastructure that attempts to take a wider view of these functions and optimize the fulfillment of the five functions of scholarly communication. Scholarly modules are conceptualized as the constituent parts of a research process as determined by a researcher. These can be text, but also code, data, and any other relevant pieces of information that are produced in the research process. The chronology of these modules is registered by iteratively linking to each other, creating a provenance record of parent and child modules (and a network of modules). These scholarly modules are linked to scholarly profiles, creating a network of profiles, and a network of how profiles relate to their constituent modules. All these scholarly modules would be communicated on the new peer-to-peer Web protocol Dat, which provides a decentralized register that is immutable, facilitates greater content integrity than the current system through verification, and is open-by-design. Open-by-design would also allow diversity in the way content is consumed, discovered, and evaluated to arise. This initial proposal needs to be refined and developed further based on the technical developments of the Dat protocol, its implementations, and discussions within the scholarly community to evaluate the qualities claimed here. Nonetheless, a minimal prototype is available today, and this is technically feasible. View Full-Text
Keywords: metaresearch; decentralization; decentralization; publishing; p2p metaresearch; decentralization; decentralization; publishing; p2p
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Hartgerink, C. Verified, Shared, Modular, and Provenance Based Research Communication with the Dat Protocol. Publications 2019, 7, 40.

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