There are issues to be solved in academia. Some claim, and research shows this to be true, that misconduct in research has increased. Can blockchain be a part of the solution to reduce this behavior? How can we combat misconduct in research using blockchain?
Before we answer this question we need to look at the concept of misconduct. What is misconduct in research?
What is misconduct in research?
Misconduct in research can be many things; it can be premeditated or as the result of lack of knowledge. Both cases are harmful in many ways to society, research, and individuals. Some examples of misconduct can be cheating with data, plagiarism or duplications, to mention some. This misconduct is severe and would affect academia in many ways, direct and indirectly. As it is today, there are few mechanisms to identify and react against misconduct.
One paper where we can read about the increased academic misconduct is in Vijay Moans article “On the use of blockchain-based mechanisms to tackle academic misconduct” (Mohan, 2019). Here you can get some background as to how he believes the “winner takes it all” contest-like situation in academia is building a ground for more incidents of misconduct. The article provides a good framework to understand the situation.
Back to the blockchain. One of the solutions to combat misconduct ,he suggests, is to use blockchain technology. In short, his idea is that blockchain can provide methods and technology for alleviating problems with the academic publishing industry. The idea is that blockchain can work as a monitoring technology, and thus be a part of a solution to increase the probability that misconduct will be detected. According to Mohan, there are not enough of such monitoring platforms today.
Read the article by Vijay Mohan published in Research Policy 48 (2019) (subscription journal)
KnowledgeArc and blockchain
At KnowledgeArc we believe in blockchain. Firstly, we believe the technology can be a way to meet the challenges of open science. Secondly, we believe the technology can be a game changer when it comes to changing the focus from quantity to quality in publication. And lastly, we believe blockchain can add security and full openness to the equation. With this in mind we also believe that blockchain can be one of several initiatives which can contribute to improved academic processes.
These are just some of the ways we can combat misconduct in research using blockchain. What are your thoughts in this regard? Leave comments below…