The scientific publishing sector is facing significant challenges related to authorship and dissemination of research. Currently, authorship acknowledgement is provided only upon final publication of a paper, a lengthy process that ranges from 9 to 18 months due to the traditional anonymous pre-publication peer review of research articles.
In addition, there is no robust mechanism to protect authorship for results achieved at intermediate stages of the research cycle. The majority of academics are primarily concerned with preserving their moral rights, and most scientists are afraid to talk about unpublished work because they fear getting scooped by competitors or losing credit and intellectual property rights for their ideas. And publishing bias favours positive results whereas negative but scientifically significant findings (research “failures”) are largely neglected. This may lead to identical experiments being repeated multiple times all over the world, resulting in a waste of time and resources. As a result, sharing of unpublished results is rare, leaving the potential of early dissemination of scientific work unexploited and ultimately slowing down the pace of research worldwide.
Innovaetica has developed ResearchProof, an open access online platform for depositing, pre-publishing and sharing scientific work from any discipline and at any stage of the research cycle. Its core feature is a digital logbook where researchers can store any kind of (intermediate) research artefacts, obtaining a timestamped, legally valid proof of authorship. Blockchain cryptography makes for a particularly safe environment that relies on a distributed, decentralized database architecture. ResearchProof overcomes the limitations of conventional publishing by offering speedy publication without editorial bias or lengthy pre-publication peer review as well as instant intellectual property protection. Scientists can make their findings immediately available to the scientific community, receiving proper credit and boosting their chances of gaining access to new collaborations, publications and grants.