Debate has increased in the biotech research and development (R&D) community, as well as the scientific community at large with respect to "open science" publishing, through platforms like Sci Hub, and "permissioned access" publishing with companies like Elsevier.
"Open science" refers to new approaches towards the scientific process by collaborative and digital means to achieve an open access environment for the scientific community.
This process encourages academic publishers to adopt new licensing agreements for open access publication.
Take "Sci Hub," for example, a website that rips millions of research papers and books by mirroring official sources, often bypassing publishers' paywalls in various ways.
It currently leads the proliferation "to open mass and public access to tens of millions of research papers." Their goal, presumably, is to accelerate bio-innovation through open access.
But let's face it, as research is simply a commodity which serves to increase shareholder value for any entity interested in making a buck off selling data. Like Mark Zuckerberg.
Avoiding likely instances of public controversy and violations of intellectual property law, many companies advocate for permissioned access, offering traditional subscription packages and licenses to research topics.
Elsevier, a license subscription provider for science, tech, and health publishing, routinely attracts criticism over its pricing structure and annual revenue, of around $3 billion.
In parallel, the discussion regarding patent laws failing to incentivize innovation, has increased in relevance. The U.S. patent system was created to incentivize inventors to publicly share their knowledge by rewarding them with a 20-year commercial, government enforced monopoly on their invention. Working well in the pre-digital age, intellectual property law has begun to face serious challenges in finding its place in the 21st century.
Unfortunately, the patent incentive has devolved into mass inefficiency through patent trolls, costing approximately $30 billion per year in litigation, and most perverse, incentivized scientific information secrecy.
The question remains as to whether in correcting both issues, the result would yield an acceleration with bio R&D? In other words, finding more cures so we can end more diseases.
Easier said than done, right? So, then what's the solution?
IKU, a decentralized research organization (DRO) - that allows you to stake and develop bio r&d, proposes that we exploit the commercial copyright value associated with open research data by while at the same time, making such information accessible to everyone in a permissionless, minimum-friction, open-source marketplace. Similar to how you can listen to a song on Spotify for free but when Disney wants to put that song in a movie, they must pursue a commercial license.
With the emergence of smart contract technology in the world of blockchain, IKU recently introduced the IKU NeuroDRO, seeded with a scientific breakthrough - a new biomarker - that may end Alzheimer's disease. The intellectual property ownership of all R&D data generated within the organization will be available to Neuron Token holders, while also being publicly available. Currently, the DRO's first endeavor is tackling a Phase III clinical trial to test human efficacy on the biomarker plasmalogen, with its collaborator, Prodrome Sciences, and the research made possible by scientists at the Alzheimer's Association, University of Pennsylvania, Duke, amongst others. The research data license would belong to Neuron Token holders, but enable for open access at the same time (Spotify-Disney style).
But what exactly is a "DRO?"
It is cybernetic collective of people and machines plugged in as nodes on a network, collectively feeding it with information fuel innovation – all nodes are economically aligned through blockchain-enforced property rights (in this case "Neuron Tokens"). The Neuron Tokens represent ownership of research data property rights to mediate participation in the DRO – building a progressively greater intelligence.
Only Neuron Token holders are allowed to participate in the DRO. All DRO communications are considered research data owned by the Neuron Token holders, pro-rata. The DRO will provide direct access to scientists, research papers, communications, source code, experimental data in the DRO digital commons. Neuron Token holders may also have rights to publish, provide commentary, contribute and mine data, earn royalties, amongst others.
To really guarantee open access, DRO may be stored on the interplanetary file system (IPFS.io) and linked to research tokens. Upon minting of Neuron Tokens, the blockchain proves the existence of property rights, therefore proving its genesis and atomic provenance, potentially eliminating the need for litigation.
The Neuron Tokens serve as the basis for a distributed, liquid research repository, while providing a participation and anti-abuse mechanism to guard its value. Users are economically incentivized to advance the research – the more research aggregated and the further the research progresses, the more valuable Neuron Tokens should become.
Open Science Publishing: https://www.nature.com/news/us-court-grants-elsevier-millions-in-damages-from-sci-hub-1.22196