From “Open” to “Decentralised” Science: Opportunities and Challenges – Research Consulting

“Over the past few months, we have been hearing more and more about the concept of ‘Decentralised Science’, or DeSci, for short. The term has appeared in several reports, articles and even client enquiries. Since this somewhat nebulous concept doesn’t have a single, widely understood definition, we thought that a blog highlighting its relevance for research stakeholders would be welcome!

In this post, we will provide insights and tips to help you navigate this evolving area, as well as highlighting why we should all care about what’s next for DeSci….”

A Federated Commons | Building the Commons

by Mike Thicke

Twitter’s recent troubles have catalyzed unprecedented attention on Mastodon as an alternative. In turn, this has introduced many to the Fediverse—a loose collection of services that, like Mastdodon, use the ActivityPub protocol to communicate with each other.

At Humanities Commons, we have long considered ActivityPub to be the most promising way to expand from our current, single-site, structure to a network of associated Commonses. We have taken Mastodon as an inspiration and model for a new, federated Commons network.

I hope to use this blog both to keep users at Humanities Commons informed of our plans and progress toward this goal of a renewed Commons and Commons network, but to also have conversations with all of you about our direction, about how we can best serve your needs, and about how you can contribute to our journey.

In this post, I want to describe in general terms how the Commons functions as a pseudo-network now, some of the challenges we’ve experienced with that structure, and how a federated or decentralized Commons might address those problems. In future posts I will go into more detail about how different components of the site—such as profiles, groups, sites, and the repository—might function in a federated Commons, as well as discussions of how we plan to implement all of this.



Does the Peer Review Process Need Blockchain? – NEO.LIFE

“Another major change in scientific publishing could come from the same blockchain-based infrastructure that’s enabling the rise of the rest of decentralized science. Washington University faculty member and VitaDAO core contributor Tim Peterson proposed his own peer review alternative, called The Longevity Decentralized Review (TLDR), and is assembling a team of editors to begin reviewing papers on longevity and aging….


TLDR works a lot like Reddit: First researchers post their work publicly, either directly or to numerous so-called “pre-print” servers like bioRxiv or medRxiv. These have been around for several years but became much more influential during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the speed with which they could bring research to other scientists. Reviewers get paid by the TLDR site, which is funded through charitable donations and from anyone who would like their manuscript peer-reviewed. VitaDAO is one of the TLDR backers, offering $VITA tokens for peer review of longevity-related projects of interest to VitaDAO. It’s anybody’s guess whether this will result in meaningful income to reviewers, but it’ll be more than the zero dollars and zero cents they earn now….”