Website or social media links
Current stage of development
first phase – 8mth, additional phases – 4yrs+
Since the Kickoff, the project’s architecture was mostly rethought, both at the backend implementation side as well as UX side.
How has your project changed?
It hasn’t changed significantly and the development simply continued.
Have you integrated any feedback received?
The feedback on our project mostly consisted of different ideas that have already been thought through, so while there were no practical changes directly correlated to the feedback, it did induce more thinking and projecting how to best reach the desired outcome – a meritocratic community-driven academic platform. This includes things such as multiple levels of interactions (votes, comments and reactions), defining precisely which types of content to allow and their semantics, additional mechanics that will help incentivize research or make it faster (bounty system, in-platform “currency” e.g.)…
Have you started any collaborations?
Had a discussion with the team from CrowdPeer (also from Preprint Sprint), because it seemed that we have a lot of things in common. While there was no collaboration, it was an interesting exchange of opinions and stances for what the problem is and how to solve it.
Background information on current practices
With metrics such as impact factor and h-index, a cascade of negative consequences and habits is enforced, that make the entire industry suffer, and only really benefit publishers.
Overview of the challenge to overcome
We’re trying to provide an open platform where all forms of research contributions are valued and taken into account, and thus provide better and more numerous incentives for collaboration. With these better metrics, we are also able to simplify (in some cases even completely automate) the distribution of the resources and make the process fairer.
The ideal outcome or output of the project
A go-to publishing platform that presents an alternative to how researchers make their living and fund their research, a knowledge repository with high-quality content that can be trusted and whose content is accumulated and distilled over time, and a collaboration hub with a welcoming community.
Description of the intervention
We’re building a web publishing platform with integrated points-based mechanics. All content that is created and uploaded can be voted on by the users. Users earn or lose points based on those votes. Points collected represent how knowledgeable someone is and the amount of impact they’ve had. With more points, users unlock new features, such as the ability to moderate content from others, leave reviews, and manage different sections.
This creates dynamics where people earn the trust of the community through their contributions (meritocracy), and in turn, are able to help shape their area of research even further, and to also create more opportunities for themselves.
Content can be ranked and filtered by its score, providing a way to accumulate relevant work around a specific topic over time, thus becoming a useful, curated repository of collective knowledge.
Additional plans include extensions to the platform that specialize in certain parts of the research cycle: rich editor, full peer review system, personal and collaborative reference management, project funding and supervision, conference organization,… that are all integrated together, and create a seamless and pleasant experience for everyone involved.
With all these services connected, our grand goal is to integrate payments into the platform, that, from a multitude of income streams (subscriptions, donations, government, and private funding,…) distribute resources either proportionally to one’s contribution or with some specified criteria. With this, our plan is to completely disrupt the academic business model.
Plan for monitoring project outcome
All analytics are by default within the platform and we can track the amount and type of interactions, assess the sentiments, maintain quality of content, and over time, reevaluate choices and balance the mechanics accordingly.
What’s needed for success
Additional technology development
Developing our own back-end infrastructure (including a web server, message queue, object storage, database, and in-memory store).
Feedback, beta testing, collaboration, endorsement
Dynamics of the platform will be heavily monitored, but direct user feedback will be collected as well, to better understand sentiments and any of their additional needs. In the future, there will be opportunities for collaboration with other companies and organizations about integrations of services on both sides.
It’s estimated (P&L sheet) that to fully commit (3 people, 12mth runway, first phase) and achieve self-sustainability, the project would need at least $75,000.