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An online digital logbook to protect and prove authorship, and to share scientific results

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ResearchProof (An online digital logbook to protect and prove authorship, and to share scientific results)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2017-12-31

The scientific publishing sector is facing significant challenges related to authorship and dissemination of research outputs. Currently, authorship acknowledgement is provided only upon final publication of a paper, which can be a lengthy process. As a result, sharing of unpublished results is rare, leaving the potential of the early dissemination of scientific work unexploited and ultimately slowing down the pace of research worldwide. Innovaetica has developed ResearchProof, an open access (OA) 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 results, obtaining a legally valid proof of authorship thanks to timestamping technology. The innovative use of 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 for scientific data even for intermediate research outputs. Thanks to the pre-publication and sharing functionality, scientists can make such findings immediately available to the scientific community, receiving proper credit and boosting their chances of gaining access to new collaborations, publications and grants. The ResearchProof project contributes to enabling broader access to scientific publications and data, in line with the ideas of a global knowledge society and of the European Research Area. Innovaetica is currently upgrading the platform and will utilize the funding to complete a market validation with universities and research centres across Europe.
Innovaetica undertook a full analysis of both the technical and business potential of the ResearchProof platform concluding that it would be highly valuable for the research industry. Innovaetica reviewed the results achieved with their first platform for protection of creative works and how they could transfer the blockchain technology to fully exploit it within the scientific industry. Innovaetica defined the remaining software and blockchain engineering activities to be performed, scale-up and market validation. Innovaetica utilised the feasibility study to scout research institutions and universities to participate in trialling the platform with the eventual intention of being first customers.
The expected outcome of the project is to successfully execute the market validation and demonstrate that the value of sharing scientific results at all phases of the research cycle. The daily logbook will enable easy recording and tracking of daily results from any one researcher or research group. ResearchProof encourages open access to data and will promote publication of negative and intermediate results giving value to all results. The ResearchProof development will boost economic growth and create jobs within Innovaetica.