Advancing Open Science with Version Control and Blockchains

TitleAdvancing Open Science with Version Control and Blockchains
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBell, Jonathan, LaToza Thomas D., Baldmitsi Foteini, and Stavrou Angelos
Secondary Title2017 IEEE/ACM 12th International Workshop on Software Engineering for Science (SE4Science)
Date Published05/2017
Keywordsblockchain, replication, reproducible

The scientific community is facing a crisis of reproducibility:
confidence in scientific results is damaged by
concerns regarding the integrity of experimental data and the
analyses applied to that data. Experimental integrity can be
compromised inadvertently when researchers overlook some
important component of their experimental procedure, or intentionally
by researchers or malicious third-parties who are
biased towards ensuring a specific outcome of an experiment.
The scientific community has pushed for “open science” to add
transparency to the experimental process, asking researchers to
publicly register their data sets and experimental procedures.
We argue that the software engineering community can leverage
its expertise in tracking traceability and provenance of source
code and its related artifacts to simplify data management for
scientists. Moreover, by leveraging smart contract and blockchain
technologies, we believe that it is possible for such a system to
guarantee end-to-end integrity of scientific data and results while
supporting collaborative research.