Research or Perish! The Decentralized Web and Open Research. A Report from the FORCE11 2018 Montreal Conference

Image: FORCE11 2018 Montreal Conference, group photo

I attended the FORCE11 annual conference—an event with a very broad coverage of scholarly communications—with a mission in mind. This mission was to see what decentralized web (DWeb) research projects had matured to a level to be reusable in the working context of a scholars. Most DWeb systems and services are in an alpha phase, so in early R&D state where things are still experimental and not meant for large scale professional use. When a systems is in an alpha phase the objective is to carry out R&D to be able to test a set of assumptions and so improve a system to be able for it to move onto become a beta system, and then a full release. My very real concern is that almost all DWeb systems being proposed don’t know enough about how scholars and academia works, and instead use very thin models of scholarly workflows, that in turn means the chances of adoption, moving through the development phases, or solving the big problems in science communications are greatly reduced.

Read More

What Can Open Science Learn and Use From DECODE’s Blockchain Urbanism Research and Tech Stack?

DECODE – DEcentralized Citizen Owned Data Ecosystem

In the context of contemporary urban development the growth of Smart Cities through—IoT, the sharing-economy such as AirBnB, digital services and platform from the private sector like Uber, or from municipal provision as in metro transport—there is a need for personal data privacy and for a level playing field in ‘aggregated data’ access for service providers and researchers. The EU Horizon 2020 funded DECODE research project has been developing just such a technical infrastructure to ensure smart and safe cities. With the motivation of the research being for real world implementation by all types of service providers using Privacy by Design principles. The question for Open Science and scholarly communications is, how can these principles and technologies be transferred from urbanism to academia.

Read More

An Interview with Sarven Capadisli, Dokieli-Developer, on Autonomous Linked Research

Image: By Malvika Sharan @MalvikaSharan Twitter https://twitter.com/MalvikaSharan/status/1043084660522270722 

A rare breed of open Web researcher, testing assumptions about publishing and academic freedom by creating the demonstrative software ‘dokieli‘. A browser based, decentralized publishing software, designed on the principles of—empowerment, individual autonomy, decentralized and interoperable applications, universal access, and a social Web. And why the experiment “This ‘Paper’ is a Demo“, borne from a healthy dose of stubbornness, came about. The current line of thinking at a high-level is captured as part of the ‘Linked Research‘ initiative.

Read More

Solid: Personal Data Management Through Linked Data

Solid logo

The premise behind Solid is a simple one: for every single piece of data you create online, you can choose where you store it. This choice does not affect what applications you can view this data with. Instead of letting apps prey on your data, you decide which parts of your personal data pod can be seen by what apps and what people. Since all apps find their data in the same place—your place—there is no need to synchronize: every app always shows you your latest data.

Read More

The Busiest Researchers Ever! The Decentralized Web & Ending the Culture of Misguided Metrics in Science

Caption: ‘International System of Units’. The SI base units: Symbol, Name, Quantity. A ampere electric current. k kelvin temperature. s second time. m metre length. kg kilogram mass. cd candela luminous intensity. mol mole amount of substance. Wikipedia.

Karmen Condic-Jurkic looks at a reboot for academic knowledge infrastructures with the decentralized web as a thought catalyst for making science in new ways: to disseminate knowledge faster and more easily; and to call for a clean start on metrics for making better research by rewarding—best practice, scientific integrity, or to steer research to be socially relevant for example with experiments in tokenomics.

Read More