IOS Press News

Position Statement: IOS Press on Blockchain

IOS Press has a keen interest in the potential distributed ledger and blockchain technology could have on scientific publishing. An IOS Press delegation is present at the Academic Publishing in Europe (APE) 2018 in Berlin to gain more insights and discuss the state-of-the-art with peers on this hot topic.

IOS Press devotes a substantial part of its resources into investigating and developing cutting-edge technologies to support the advancement of science – and blockchain could be one of these technologies. Since last summer, IOS Press has been investigating the pros and cons of blockchain technologies. In November 2017, a think-tank session was organized at University of California, Santa Barbara, to discuss the potential impact of bockchain technologies on scientific publishing. Parties from science, publishing, and technology took part in this brainstorm session.

We believe blockchain technologies could help in transparently giving credit to editors’ and reviewers’ work for journals; an often-heard complaint is that this work is undervalued. By logging activity on a blockchain, everyone gets credited in the public eye. Blockchain might also help in addressing issues around the speed and quality of peer review and publication as well as dealing with bias, fraud, and high fees. Finally, these technologies can also serve as the basis for a trustless publishing framework in which authors have more control over the publication process.

However, a concern is the robustness and speed (or lack thereof) of the underlying infrastructure. It might be hard to find a balance between who facilitates the blockchain infrastructure for scientific publishing, while at the same time avoiding a monopoly position for one or few parties.

IOS Press intends to keep on top of the developments. An experiment using blockchain technology is currently being developed for the Semantic Web journal.



View related open access article:: "On the prospects of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for open science and academic publishing" by Krzysztof Janowicz, Blake Regalia, Pascal Hitzler, Gengchen Mai, Stephanie Delbecque, Maarten Fröhlich, Patrick Martinent, and Trevor Lazarus (DOI: 10.3233/SW-180322), published online in the Semantic Web journal ahead of the publication of Volume 9, Issue 5 (2018), The open access article is available at:

Stephanie Delbecque
Project Manager