Science has a reproducibility crisis. As a result there is an active debate in the scientific community on how to improve the Peer Review process. Retraction rates are also on the rise and there is ongoing discontent over publicly funded science being held behind paywalls.
We believe a large part of this market dysfunction is a result of the peer review process lacking a price signal. Ludwig von Mises wrote very elegantly about the Economic Calculation Problem in the socialist commonwealth. This work demonstrated the critical information pricing signals convey and the disastrous consequences that occur when prices are made illegal.
Most peer review is performed for free by 2-3 highly specialized and valuable individuals donating their time. Free work is always deprioritized over paid work. 42% of peer reviews are turned down due to the reviewers having other work competing for their time. Most reviewers are also anonymous. Some journals are thankfully experimenting with non-anonymous peer review but we believe it is equally important to experiment with bringing price signals into the peer review process.
Prices can capture time value and urgency. Prices can also reflect fairly straightforward in-silico verification of primary data or even sponsor complete wet lab reproduction of the work. It is important for Peer review to have pricing signals so this market speciation can occur. Gold, Silver and Bronze level reviews would help the reader to understand the magnitude of reproduction of the work.
Without this important communication of value, free peer review by 2-3 very busy and specialized individuals will never be thorough enough to fact check the complexity of a manuscript with over a dozen specialized authors.
We describe the use of cryptocurrencies to incentivize peer review. To address financial conflicts that arise from directly paying for review, we utilize censorship resistant blockchains to record all communication between the authors and the reviewers. Reviewers must stake their reputation on the review and must declare no financial conflicts in the review process other than the cryptocurrency incentivization for the review. Reviewers that simply rubber stamp questionable work to collect fees will earn a reputation for sloppy work and are unlikely to be hired again. Incentives can be weighted for initiation and completion of the review in a timely and accurate manner.
Manuscript for Review
This review will focus on the Dash Cryptocurrency funded Cannabis genome assembly project at Medicinal Genomics. Reviewers were recruited through Linked-In, Twitter and Facebook.
The incentive will be paid in Dash: $500 Initiation fee and a $500 completion fee.
A link to the reviewers CV or ORCHID ID will be placed on the review.
7 day review
I. Genomics and Bioinformatics (1-2 reviewers to be selected)
Verify the Cannabis genome presented is the most complete Cannabis genome that exists as of its notarized publication time stamp on (August 17th, 2018). Various tools for verification may include BUSCO, Quast, FastQc, BLASR, SALSA, BLAST, Juicebox etc.
Genome sequence at Mega.nz
Raw subread BAM files (no alignment)
October 18th, 2018 Version 6 BAM Files
Phase Genomics HiC
Data Access and Notarization
3.8Mb N50 Assemblies
SHA-256 Hash- e6eb30ee17a1d85a3bbba9c97b8f3e03bfa8f6228e97c9678ca20635851e9352
SHA-256 Hash- 43d377e3521c584a24c000a8f13af89efdd25ed61a911f6d6c5dd73d4eb2ef28
Proximo assembly (draft)
Table 2 supplement: Sequence of synthase genes
II. Economics, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies (1 reviewer selected)
Review of Cryptocurrency introduction and methods. Familiarity with Trezor.io, shapeshifter and coinbase is helpful. Familiarity with Dash, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash history.
The Draft Manuscript is posted at the below OSF link.
DASH HASH of the document
The online lab notebook for this project can be found at:
Cryptocurrency Peer Reviewer: David Mondrus
DASH address: XvX1WqLbgwstpTQdWSzSVahGw3GsEC2Zk3
Reviewer acknowledges that the only financial connection to the authors is the $1000 Peer Review incentive. No other financial conflicts exist.
Email communications to initiate review-
Document with David Mondrus comments
Tim Fallon, PhD candidate
Darren Abbey, PhD