This theme will be publishing from the start of September 2018 and run for six weeks.
This is an invitation to contribute and to help develop the ideas.
Among the many perspectives and motivations for the interest in the decentralization of the web two areas that seem most compelling for Open Science are:
- firstly, the ability to verify the provenance of data objects, and
- secondly, to aid making content independent of platforms and their inevitable lock-in — either from business exploitation or the end of the life cycle of a platform being reached.
The model of decentralization is already firmly instantiated as the Internet, a system that never crashes (fatally), or stops working, and can scale and evolve. The question it would seem we face is how to extend such resilience to research software, platforms, and infrastructures.
Currently the decentralized web has three different technology enabling models in the running.
All of these technology options are currently being run in research programmes in academia. We will look to assemble voices from these different communities to look at the motivations and outcomes of this R&D.
For the researcher we will look at how they can get involved in using what is on offer from decentralized systems while keeping their data and time invested in adopting or trialing these technologies somehow safe.