Research Topic

Blockchain, Scholarly Communication, and the Social Fabric of Science

About this Research Topic

Scholarly communication with peer review of written knowledge at its core is the fabric of the social structure of science. Peer review, as a social institution of scientific communities, should be the guardian of trust in scholarly communication process that leads to reliable knowledge, but that trust is currently deeply shaken due to publish-or-perish culture resulting in accelerated growth of published works, emergence of predatory journals and the shift of our focus from community building to production. Communication technologies may have profoundly changed the ways in which we individually produce and consume knowledge, but have not been the driver for new institutions and governance mechanisms in scholarly communication.

Could then blockchain technologies, based on principles of decentralisation, transparency and trust, radically change scholarly communication and restore the eroded trust in scholarly communities? Are blockchain technologies in fact social production technologies that help build trustworthy communities of knowledge producers and consumers?

In this Research Topic we welcome original research papers, review papers and position papers that address blockchain technology influence on all aspects and elements of scholarly communication process. Contributions that discuss societal and economic impacts of blockchain technology on scientific publishing industry are particularly welcome, as well as those that consider legal issues in current intellectual property and copyright framework from the point of view of disrupting technologies that are entering the scholarly publishing space.


Keywords: blockchain, scholarly communication, trust, governance, social production technology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Scholarly communication with peer review of written knowledge at its core is the fabric of the social structure of science. Peer review, as a social institution of scientific communities, should be the guardian of trust in scholarly communication process that leads to reliable knowledge, but that trust is currently deeply shaken due to publish-or-perish culture resulting in accelerated growth of published works, emergence of predatory journals and the shift of our focus from community building to production. Communication technologies may have profoundly changed the ways in which we individually produce and consume knowledge, but have not been the driver for new institutions and governance mechanisms in scholarly communication.

Could then blockchain technologies, based on principles of decentralisation, transparency and trust, radically change scholarly communication and restore the eroded trust in scholarly communities? Are blockchain technologies in fact social production technologies that help build trustworthy communities of knowledge producers and consumers?

In this Research Topic we welcome original research papers, review papers and position papers that address blockchain technology influence on all aspects and elements of scholarly communication process. Contributions that discuss societal and economic impacts of blockchain technology on scientific publishing industry are particularly welcome, as well as those that consider legal issues in current intellectual property and copyright framework from the point of view of disrupting technologies that are entering the scholarly publishing space.


Keywords: blockchain, scholarly communication, trust, governance, social production technology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

28 February 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

28 February 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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