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Decentralized Science

COMPANY NAME: Decentralized Academy SL

APPLICANT NAME: Antonio Tenorio Fornés

TEAM COMPOSITION: People from one or two legal entities

WEBSITE: https://decentralized.science/

COUNTRY: Spain

PROJECT SECTOR: [“Public services”,“Open Innovation”]

CORE TECHNOLOGIES:

[“Blockchain technologies”,“Distributed ledger technologies”,“Peer to peer technologies”] A distributed Open Science publication system, with Open Access infrastructure, a reviewer reputation network and transparent peer reviews

PROJECT BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Academic publishing is key for science. However, it is controlled by an oligopoly of publishers, that profit from the free work of academics, and often impose unfair conditions. Our project aims to disintermediate science publication. Using emerging distributed technologies such as Blockchain and IPFS, we propose a decentralized publication system for Open Science, providing 1) an Open Access infrastructure, 2) a privacy-by-design review reputation system, and 3) transparent governance processes. We offer unique value to authors (fairer and faster reviews), reviewers (recognition) and editors (a network of reviewers). It will reduce the costs of science publication and provide transparency, accountability and quality to peer reviews. Our own research has been presented in international congresses [1,2,3], and has been implemented in a working proof-of-concept prototype. Currently, three PhD theses are contributing to its development 1 tiny.cc/02fs5y 2 tiny.cc/k7fs5y 3 tiny.cc/ebes5y

BUSINESS MARKET

According to a recent European Commission report, the total market size of Academic Publishing and Open Access publishing are 10 Bn USD and 0.5 Bn USD per year, respectively. Our goal is to challenge a market of established oligopolies with decentralized disruptive technologies, offering a transparent decentralized publishing infrastructure. Our technology is free and open access. We will offer platform migration and support services, as well as infrastructure as a service for journals.

BUSINESS MODEL

We offer cheap publishing and peer review infrastructure for open access journals, competing with traditional publishers. Additionally, we provide unique value propositions to authors (fast and accountable reviews), reviewers (recognition) and editors (network of reliable reviewers). Our technology is free, open source and decentralized. Thus, it enables the development of an ecosystem of services and open innovation, in which we will participate as a platform cooperative.

TEAM EXPERIENCE

Our interdisciplinary team has successfully collaborated in research, entrepreneurship and development projects, including P2PValue and P2PModels European projects: C. Bermejo (F/T entrepreneur), ex-president Spanish Startup Assoc., European Startup Network Board Secretary, AI developer. A. Tenorio (F/T researcher), Researcher and developer, PhD candidate on decentralized governance. E. Pérez (F/T dev.), Mathematics & Computer Science BSc senior, Blockchain developer. E. Martinez (P/T des.), Fine Arts, UX and Product designer. Tatiana Nazarova (P/T des.), Arch. Env. Design Engineer & Graphic Designer gr. The PhD theses of V. Jacynycz (decentralized science), D. Llop (decentralized publishing) and A. Tenorio (decentralized governance) and their supervisors Dr. S. Hassan (P2PModels.eu PI, Blockchain), Dr. A. Sanchez (HCI, AI), and Prof. J. Pavón (AI, SE, RRI) contribute to the project. We have already built a working prototype, and presented it in Peer review and Blockchain conferences

FUNDING NEEDS

The main purpose of the grant funding (75%) will be supporting the team members through their salaries, (a F/T business dev., a F/T blockchain dev. and two P/T designers). Our goal is to follow the program to develop a valuable product with a clear market fit and business plan, enabling the sustainability of the project. Additional expenses include travels (10%), equipment and infrastructure (5%), marketing & communication (5%), and others (5%) e.g. formation, Open Access publication costs, etc

STRATEGY AND SCALABILITY

There are other projects aiming to decentralized science publication with blockchain. However, they often aim to bypass or eliminate journals. Our proposal sees Open Access journals and their editors as potential allies and clients, to decentralize science publication while removing the abuses of traditional publishers. We would reach Open Access journals and conferences by direct contact and through partnerships with Open Access and Open Science communities, journals and institutions. Once our product is providing value to early adopters (authors, reviewers and editors) they will become channels to new clients through recommendation. Additionally, the perceived value of our publication and reputation infrastructure will grow with the participation in the system, as its decentralized nature enables a fast scalability. After reaching critical mass, the value of joining the network will be clearer to the wider and growing market of Open Access publishing.