, Steemit for Science - great idea or just a blunder?

in steemstem •  5 months ago

My scientific career started in 2010 and after 8 years I can say, loud and clear, that I don't like many aspects related to funding and publishing.

Maybe there could be a solution, Something like scientific coin?

But, is this a viable idea?

Let's read the white paper, 19 pages long pdf with some white background. So far so good...

The platform pays users for publishing, editing, and curating scientific papers. [Page 3]

This sounds great! I would like to have something like this. But... There is a problem because those who hodl the money want me to have publications in scientific journals with impact factor. Without that, this is yet another shady scientific journal (or even worse). I'm constantly getting invitations to publish something in such journals and I'm just marking it as spam.

Without some strong scientific names who will back the initial phase of obtaining the impact - this is doomed.

Image from Wiki

At present, scientific peer review is broken. It’s slow, expensive, biased, and, as shown by the evidence, not very good at recognizing valuable research. Why? It’s a combination of two factors: peer reviewers aren’t paid, and they don’t receive any notoriety. [Page 4]

I agree... More or less...

Ask yourself: if you had to devote many hours to a project without pay or prestige, would you do it? For most people, the answer is “No”. We should remember that peer reviewers are human beings who, like all human beings, want recognition and/or monetary compensation for their work. Without that, there’s not much incentive to do a good job. [Page 4]

In theory, this is true, but in practice, there will be someone somewhere willing to do it for free.
All of us in science know that sometimes we get really incompetent reviewers.

Lab Ledger solves this problem by giving peer reviewers what they rightfully deserve: pay and notoriety. We pay in Lab Dollars (a digital currency native to Lab Ledger) and Scholar Points (a point system used to distribute influence across the network). As we’ll talk about later, the more Scholar Points you own, the more influence you have. [Page 4]

Lab dollars?! Wooo-hooo! But, again, there is a practical problem. We already have something similar here, on Steemit.
I called a lot of my friends who are scientists, some of them are from Serbia (salary is about 500 Euros per month) and not a single wanted to join.

Why they don't want to earn the whole additional salary by doing basically the same they are already doing - I don't understand. But they don't want to join.

People in science are conservative. Add the payment option and the Hell will come to Earth.

Papers are not the property of a single researcher. Those belong to 5-10 co-authors. Should the boss earn more? Or the poor student who actually done everything. Also, what about the running costs? My EPR toys are 1.000.000 $ worth. Someone (Government, Institute) is responsible for that toys. Should they get something? Plus, how to tax this?


On Pixabay, war looks like this

How does it work? Basically, any researcher, located anywhere in the world, can submit a paper at any time. Once published, the paper can be upvoted and/or commented on by any researcher (it’s very similar to how Reddit works).


The academic journal market is estimated to be worth around $25 billion dollars. This multi-billion-dollar industry is ripe for disruption. It’s currently controlled by a handful of centralized, biased monopolies that charge authors thousands of dollars to get published. [Page 7]

Some journals allow free publishing. I could say the majority. But yes, the money is in the hands of several publishers.

On top of that, these journals charge a hefty premium just to read their papers. They’re also susceptible to lobbying and forming allegiances around particular ideas [Page 7]

And they will keep doing that? Will you counter-lobby? Because without publishing in well-known journals, I'm not getting the money for research...

Page 8, in short, the system is slow

It is slow. But who cares? General public that is organizing the riots because the results are slowly published? Industry that is a parallel universe with almost to connections to academic science? Start-ups who sell 90% pseudoscientific junk (squeezed juice, water from thin air, plastics from thin air...)?

Seriously guy, who cares about the slow process of publishing?

We do. We are pissed but even we don't really care.


Super cute snails from Pixabay

the central monopolies have to be rejected by the community [Page 9]

Young, young people... Full of life and ideals. NO! Average Joe is a conformist.

Great, I'll be an idealist.

Boss: Hey Alexs, let's publish in Nature this crazy complex thing we were working on last 3 years!
Alexs: No Boss, we will publish in on Facebook, so it can be shared freely. Even better, let's upload everything to GitHub. Screw the system.
Boss: You are right Alexs, let's destroy those bastards!

LAB Tokens are the liquid, foundational currency of the Lab Ledger network. They can be bought and sold on exchanges like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. [Page 10]

Take a deep breath, relax... It's just a Zeppelin in flames...

Stop right there! If any plonker from the street can have more than the Nobel laureate - take a look at the photo!

Lab Dollars are the native currency of the Lab Ledger ecosystem. Lab Dollars can be earned by contributing to the network.

WHO Earns? The Institute that bought me the equipment? Those who gave me the fundings? My colleagues who worked on the same topic. There are 10 of them. WHO?

Scholar Points are a point system used to distribute influence within the Lab Ledger network. The more you own, the more influence you have. If you have many Scholar Points, then your upvotes will hold more weight. [Also Page 10]

We already have RG Score - we don't care too much.
In addition, how do you share the points initially? It can't be that some undergraduate kid after 10 comments and 3 months has as much as the top class scientist.

Follow me Scientific Commerades, let's destroy this crapitalist system!

Never forget one thing: academic science is Centralized!

And I have no idea why it's centred like this :(

Today, it costs anywhere from $20 to $150 to read a scientific paper. [Page 11]

Nope... It's free via University network, that I use for free. Option 2: find it free on RG. Option 3: ask your colleague to send it to you. Option 4 (option 1): go to sci-hub.

The forums are where scientists can discuss papers, post discoveries, keep up with the latest science news, provide tips and feedback to one another, and more. [Page 11]

Great idea, but we already have forums for 20 years. We don't care to use them.

Scientists can post their experiments on Lab Ledger and raise money through the network. They can raise the funds in LAB Tokens, that way, it will be seamless for other researchers in the network to fund the experiment

This sounds cool, now let's check some figures.

The whole crypto world today is worth about 350 B$ (BTC 132 B$, ETH 62 B$, EOS 13 B$ STEEM 0.6 B$)

Expenditures for R&D by country:

  • USA: 473 B
  • EU: 388 B
  • FRA: 60 B
  • BEL/SWI/ISR: about 10-15 B
  • Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ethiopia: 0.5 - 1.5 B

Crowdfunding is a drop in the ocean...


Sweat, sweat Pixabay money

As the platform matures, we hope that companies that produce scientific equipment will allow their items to be purchased with LAB Tokens. We will try to work out a deal that includes discounted lab equipment for Lab Ledger users if they purchase with LAB Tokens [Page 12]

What are you talking about? Projects usually have some funds that must be used for LabWare, Chemicals.... In some countries, there is a procedure for this. Strict procedure. You simply can't do this.

With Lab Ledger, it will be easier for scientists from all over the globe to connect and collaborate with each other.

Way too hippie... You can't just go around and cooperate. You have your obligations, they have their obligations. You don't need more people involved... And if you want to hang around - go visit a conference.


As the idea, it sounds great. In practice, this is solving an unexisting, small problem (publishing is slow, corrupted and expensive), by introducing 10 more problems (how to split the profit, how to foster the quality, how to prevent rich and stupid to become influence). This system also promises crowdfunding which is the negligible amount in comparison to scientific budgets. The project also fails in providing the real service that scientists need - a well-recognized journal that can be cited

If you want to invest in this, don't.

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Lab dollars?

You're right, this is basically just Steemit re-baptized.


Hahahaha :D

oh man. Nice ideas, but utterly pointless in application.

If they could implement something like that in researchgate, and get some heavy-hitters on board, well... but like this, it's programmed for failure. Didn't they speak with an actual scientist before their ICO?


it's programmed for failure

No, not at all...

Total token supply after airdrop will be 1,200,000,000. The Lab Ledger team will retain 200,000,000 tokens.

200.000.000 x 1$ = Woooow!
x0.01$ = not bad at all for founders

It's programmed to succeed ;)

Like the humor. Very funny, also helped me to understand the difficulty in making an alternative to the current journals work


Everything is strangled up to the point where nothing is possible to change.

Not a single stakeholder have any need for change.


like you said it probably needs a famous scientist to endorse something different


It succeeded recently, with the new journal eLife that quickly reached IF = 7.7!

But in that case, they need to give ICO to actual scientists that will sacrifice their results.

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Thank you Bot, this is actually nice to see. 0.01 $ for you