Scholarly Communications in the Decentralized Web

Mellon Verborgh
01 January 2020 → 31 December 2023
Funding by bilateral agreement (private and foundations)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Web information systems
  • Social sciences
    • Records and information management
scholarly communications decentralisation
Project description

Description of Proposed Work: Motivated by concerns regarding the status quo of both the Web and Web-based scholarly communication, as well as by proposals to bring about change, we envision an alternative scholarly communication system that is researcher-centric, institution-enabled, and aligned with Decentralized Web concepts and technologies. In this vision, researchers use a personal domain and associated storage space as their long-term scholarly hub, and the core functions of scholarly communication (registration, certification, awareness, archiving) are fulfilled in a decoupled manner, that is, each function can simultaneously be fulfilled by multiple parties in different ways. We propose a technical exploration into the nature and feasibility of such a scholarly communication system. We aim (1) to demonstrate that devising a novel interoperable scholarly communication infrastructure is feasible by leveraging existing technologies and standards, and (2) to deliver a technical blueprint for a future decentralized and decoupled scholarly Web. Our explorations will take the current environment into account so that results will be usable to improve upon the existing communication system. Moreover, because of the close alignment of the proposed work with the technology stack that is at the basis of the Decentralized Web movement, the insights gained may very well have an impact on the Web at large.