Sunday, March 8, 2015

The possibility of Academic Review Coin

As I wrote yesterday, Bitcoin and its architecture have a great potential. Everyone will issue their own stock, visualizing their reputation and trust.

There are many possibilities of utilizing crypt currency. For example, I am considering to adopt this scheme to the administration of an academic journal.

To explain my idea, you have to know how academic journals are issued. Once a manuscript was submitted to a journal, the editors of this journal investigate the quality of the study. Next, the editors ask for a review of the manuscript to some other researchers than involved in this study. The reviewers look through the manuscript to examine the validity of the study. Referring the opinion of the reviewers, the editors make a decision whether the manuscript is accepted or rejected. In most cases, considerable amendment is requested to the authors before publication, following the recommendation of the reviewers. Thus, the reviewers have a role to ensure the appropriateness of the final article.

For this reason, reviewers have a great responsibility. In addition, examine a paper is time-consuming. However, reviewers receive no rewards. For the review process keeps anonymity, reviewers never declare that they have reviewed a certain article. It means that reviewers cannot take an honor for reviewing some valuable articles. The review is absolutely voluntary task.

I have engaged in reviewing several articles. Although it is exciting to examine a manuscript written by another researcher, reviewing is a tough task. Indeed, editors are always struggling to maintain excellent reviewers.

Digital currency potentially has a power to overcome this challenge.

Imagine it, the publisher of an academic journal issues a unique digital currency, named Journal Coin (JC). And the JC is delivered to reviewers for a reward of reviewing the manuscript. Then, if the article they reviewed in the past is cited to other articles, the reviewers gain more JC. Being cited is usually a proof that the article is valuable. On the contrary, if it was revealed that the article was a product of plagiarism, the reviewers are penalized by being got rid of the JC, if they still keep the involved JC. The scheme of crypt currency keeps all transaction in its log, and anyone can see the amount of JC in each account. It represents the reputation of each researcher.

When this journal become famous, the JC will construct a market. The publisher can sell the JC for real money to raise the budget for the management of the journal publishing.

This is merely my inspiration. But I believe that someone is planning to construct a similar system for functional publishing of academic journals.

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