Ants-Review: A Privacy-Oriented Protocol for Incentivized Open Peer Reviews on Ethereum

Abstract. Peer review is a necessary and essential quality control step for scienti?c publications but lacks proper incentives. Indeed, the process, which is very costly in terms of time and intellectual investment, not only is not remunerated by the journals but it is also not openly recognized by the academic community as a relevant scienti?c output for a researcher. Therefore, scienti?c dissemination is a?ected in timeliness, quality and fairness. Here, to solve this issue, we propose a blockchainbased incentive system that rewards scientists for peer reviewing other scientists’ work and that builds up trust and reputation. We designed a privacy-oriented protocol of smart contracts called Ants-Review that allows authors to issue a bounty for open anonymous peer reviews on Ethereum. If requirements are met, peer reviews will be accepted and paid by the approver proportionally to their assessed quality. To promote ethical behaviour and inclusiveness the system implements a gami?ed mechanism that allows the whole community to evaluate the peer reviews and vote for the best ones.