The Technology: Working on Progress

Scientific publishing on a decentralized internet is an idea which fits with the early decentralized vision of the internet, in which no single party is in control of the network, and information can flow freely. That decentralized version of the internet has since become centralized, with large technology companies (and governments) exerting real control over the flow of information.

Important decentralized internet technologies already exist. We have technologies for peer-to-peer file sharing (BitTorrent launched in 2001), technologies for a decentralized transactions for making payments or recording ownership on a blockchain (Bitcoin started in 2009), and it is possible to now host websites via a decentralized internet (InterPlanetary File System since 2015).

The Science Asset Project will build on these technologies to deliver a new decentralized internet scientific publishing system.

Peer-to-peer file sharingFor publishing and distributing scientific papers.
CryptocurrencyFor authenticating users (crypto wallet), recording ownership, and carrying out transactions related to scientific publishing.
Decentralized web hostingHost the website of the journal.

Right now not every component of scientific publishing can be replicated on the decentralized internet. For example, dynamic websites or email cannot be decentralized yet, and the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is designed as a centralized reference system for scientific publication. But this should not stop experimentation with a decentralized scientific publishing model, and making use of the different components that can be decentralized already.

In fact, the centralized and decentralized internet will likely coexist for a long time to come.