Decentralized Peer Review in Open Science

Democratize peer-review and “reclaim your science”.

Peer-review is a laborious, yet essential, part of academic publishing with crucial impact on the scientific endeavor.
The current lack of incentives and transparency harms the credibility of this process.
Researchers are neither rewarded for superior nor penalized for bad reviews.
Additionally, confidential reports cause a loss of insights and make the review process vulnerable to scientific misconduct.
While those are generic problems for all disciplines, they are particularly harmful for medical and psychological research, which suffer from the reproducability crisis: only a fraction of findings can be reproduced in consecutive studies. One way to tackle this problem is more transparency and greater care during the publishing process, with a focus on peer-review.
We propose a community-owned and -governed system that 1) remunerates reviewers for their efforts, 2) publishes the (anonymized) reports for scrutiny by the community, 3) tracks reputation of users and 4) provides digital certificates.
Automated by transparent smart-contract blockchain technology, the system aims to increase quality and speed of peer-review while lowering the chance and impact of erroneous judgements.
This system could help to detect flaws in research more reliably, lower the noise of publications and allows more transparent evaluation of a study, e.g. by pre-registering on the platform.

Group Leader

Thomas Arne Hensel, Lindau Alumnus 2019
Max Planck Society, Germany