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ARTiFACTS and Max Planck Society Partner to Expand Use of Blockchain Platform for Scholarly Communications
Scientists to Receive Recognition for their Research Contributions on Max Planck Digital Library Blockchain-Based Platform
Cambridge, Mass. USA/Munich, Germany - ARTiFACTS and the Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) announced today a collaboration to investigate how blockchain technology can advance the way scientific data is handled. By providing the possibility to record a permanent, valid, and immutable chain of research data in real-time, the recognition of scholarly contributions by the MPS research community will be lifted to a new level. Working with the Max Planck Digital Library, a central unit of the Max Planck Society (MPS) that supports thousands of scientists in their publication and research data management efforts, both teams are collaborating to advance the effectiveness of blockchain-based solutions for improving scholarly research and communication.
It is universally recognized that sharing research findings earlier in the research process will accelerate discoveries. However, today’s scholarly communication process provides no system for sharing, discovering and attributing most scientific outputs. This delays the sharing of results, prevents scientists from receiving recognition in the form of citations to their contributions, impedes funding opportunities and career advancement.
In collaboration with MPDL, ARTiFACTS will develop blockchain smart contracts and decentralized applications (dAPPs) on the bloxberg Blockchain enabling MPG scientists to receive recognition for all of the research materials they create. “Scientists repeatedly tell us they seek a secure, reliable and efficient method of sharing research materials in ways that both protect their intellectual property and enable them to receive recognition in real-time for their contributions,” said ARTiFACTS President and Co-Founder, Dave Kochalko. “By providing ARTiFACTS services over the distributed ledger platform supported by the Max Planck Digital Library, we are pleased to advance the mission of this world class research organization.”
“This collaboration is an ideal fit with the forward-looking innovation our Digital Labs seeks to bring to the MPS research community,” said Sandra Vengadasalam, Head of the Digital Labs Department of the Max Planck Digital Library. “Backed by an experienced team delivering creative research information solutions, we look forward to working with ARTiFACTS and accelerating the velocity of MPS research.
ARTiFACTS, creators of the world’s first blockchain-based collaboration and attribution platform for scholarly research, provides a user-friendly platform, purpose built for academic and scientific research that leverages blockchain technology. Researchers can record a valid and immutable chain of records in real-time, from the earliest stages of research for all research artifacts, including citing/attribution transactions. While today’s digital scholarship merely creates linkages among an artificially narrowed subset of indexed publications long after discoveries are made, ARTiFACTS focuses on capturing and linking knowledge from its initial ideation throughout the research process to informal and formal dissemination. By using the ARTiFACTS platform, researchers will be able to immutably prove ownership and existence of novel work, expand access to their research artifacts, provide and receive real-time attribution for novel work and more comprehensively and rapidly build and demonstrate their body of scholarly contributions.
About the Max Planck Society
The Max Planck Society conducts basic research in the natural sciences, life science, and humanities. The 84 Max Planck Institutes and 17 Max Planck Centers internationally focus on research fields that are innovative and address forward-looking scientific questions. The Max Planck Digital Library is a central service unit of the Max Planck Society dedicated to the strategic planning, development and operation of digital infrastructures necessary for providing Max Planck Institutes with scientific information, publication support and research data management services. With its Digital Labs department, MPDL ensures a constant pipeline of new technologies to provide innovative and sustainable services for all Max Planck researchers.
In their joint push to bring the advantages of an open digital environment to scholarly publishing, research organizations around the globe are facing long and sometimes tough negotiations with academic publishers which may lead to a situation in which journal subscriptions have to be cancelled. MPDL in collaboration with Max Planck's PhD net have put together an overview of the most valuable alternative access routes for scholarly articles.
Download flyer "How to deal with no subscription DEAL"
The MPDL is happy to announce that the bloxberg whitepaper is published.
Read more @ Newsroom of the Max Planck Society!
Get the whitepaper @ bloxberg!
Building on the ‘read and publish’ agreement coordinated by the Bavarian State Library (BSB) with financial support from the German Research Foundation (DFG), MPDL on behalf of the Max Planck Society has now entered in a new open access agreement with Cambridge University Press,
With the beginning of the year 2019, American Chemical Society (ACS) and Max Planck Gesellschaft have entered in a new transformative agreement that provides researchers affiliated with Max Planck institutes the opportunity to disseminate immediately, under an open access license, 100 percent of their research articles upon acceptance and publication by a peer-reviewed ACS journal.
On February 5/6 the MPDL had invited to the fourth Open Science Days at Berlin’s Harnack House.
“Research Software” being this year’s focus topic of choice, a number of interested attendees from all over Europe and even overseas came together in the beautiful Goethe Auditorium.
And the subject really turned out to be the right decision. It became clear that today, Research Software is and certainly will remain one of the central aspects for the future development of research itself.
Compared to Open Access and even Open Research Data, a lot of basic questions are still unanswered – and several things are missing for a proper dealing with this topic in everyday research: Platforms, tools, workflows, standards, guidelines, rewarding systems, business models and much more.
This calls for urgent action by all parties concerned – a message also included in the magnificent keynote by Roberto Di Cosmo. Furthermore, Mr. Di Cosmo reported about the concept and the activities of France’s Software Heritage, which deals with the collection, long term preservation and sharing of software from various sources.
The conference talks included different concrete examples of Research Software like Picasso for DNA-PAINT, the robotic behavior orchestration software playful or GGIR, which is about processing raw data from movement sensors.
Besides that, we got to know about platforms like swMath which brings together software and publication data, or the impressive services AiiDA and Materials Cloud for the procession of raw data at Lausannes EPFL.
Initiatives presented at the conference were the Software Sustainability Institute and de-RSE, the German branch of an international network for Research Software Engineers. These are all about bringing the community together and supporting colleagues in their daily struggle with the reality of Research Software processes.
The MDPL team really enjoyed these one and a half days at Harnack House and we took a huge mass of new ideas, impressions and information with us.
Munich, February, 2019 – the Max Planck Digital Library is pleased to announce the new research project bloxberg: the first trusted research infrastructure
Twelve exclusively selected leading research organizations from ten different countries came together to form the global Blockchain Consortium for Science – bloxberg.
Sandra Vengadasalam and Friederike Kleinfercher from the Max Planck Society envisioned the first trusted research infrastructure by initiating the bloxberg summit to propel blockchain in science. The event took place from February 20th to the 22nd at the magnificent Ringberg Castle in the Bavarian Alps, close to Tegernsee.
The bloxberg infrastructure is a secure global blockchain established by a consortium of leading research organizations – including Carnegie Mellon, UCL, ETH Library at ETH Zürich, Georgia Tech, IT University of Copenhagen, University of Belgrade, University of Johannesburg, University of Kassel, University of Nicosia, University of Sarajevo, and the Max Planck Society – to provide scientists with blockchain based services. The bloxberg infrastructure broadens the scientific landscape of regionally and nationally governed blockchain networks to become the first truly globally maintained decentralized network by scientists for science. By establishing the permissioned, public blockchain bloxberg, the network is safeguarded against the cryptographic power of third entities. The credibility of the research organizations maintaining the network constitutes trust in the system.
After two days of intensive discussion, the founders signed a memorandum to establish the Novel Consortium for Blockchain in Science – bloxberg. bloxberg will foster services like proving the authenticity of data, protecting intellectual property rights, sharing of precious research results, peer reviewing and publishing, enabling decentralized autonomous research organizations, and much more.
“With bloxberg a new era has begun” says Dr. Frank Sander, General Manager of the MPDL, “Now the data world has a new dimension: time”.
The bloxberg founders are certain: “With bloxberg, we will change the way scientific data is managed, scientific results are communicated, and scientists collaborate”.
Scientific institutions around the world are invited to join and become a part of bloxberg!
To learn more visit: bloxberg
Pictures: Clemens Fantur
Done DEAL: All German research articles in Wiley journals to be published open access under new transformative agreement
Germany’s Projekt DEAL and the publisher John Wiley & Sons have entered a ground-breaking transformative agreement, in line with the objectives of the Open Access 2020 initiative.This has been officially announced today in Berlin in the course of the 14th annual conference for Academic Publishing in Europe (APE).
Under this new agreement, all authors affiliated with 700 academic institutions in Germany will retain copyright and their accepted articles will be published open access in Wiley journals. Almost 10,000 articles by German researchers are published a year in Wiley journals, constituting around 9% of the publisher’s total output. The agreement also grants students and faculty read access to the full Wiley journal portfolio including backfiles starting with 1997. The national-level agreement is based on a “publish and read” model in which fees are paid by institutions—not for subscriptions but for open access publishing services.
(Guido Herrmann, Wiley and Frank Sander, MPDL)
In order to enable the signing of the DEAL contract with Wiley, the Max Planck Society, as a member of the Alliance of Science Organisations behind the DEAL Consortium, founded MPDL Services GmbH. MPDL's General Manager Frank Sander therefore co-signed the agreement today.
The agreement will be made public in a month’s time and an English-language FAQ will be released by the Projekt DEAL working group.
We are excited about our new transformative agreement with EDP Sciences for Astronomy & Astrophysics, which is the single most important journal for the Max Planck Society, as measured by output. Almost 500 papers from Max Planck authors are published in Astronomy & Astrophysics per year.
The President and scientific council members of the Max Planck Society (MPS), one of the world’s largest research performing organizations, counting 14,000 scientists who publish 12K new research articles a year—around 1500 of which in Elsevier journals, have mandated the Max Planck Digital Library to discontinue their Elsevier subscription when the current agreement expires on December 31, 2018. With this move the Society joins nearly 200 universities and research institutions in Germany who have already cancelled their individual agreements with Elsevier in the course of 2016 and 2017 and affirmed their support of the national licensing framework Projekt DEAL, led by the German Rector’s Conference.
In response to the untenably increasing cost of access to scholarly journals and, more importantly, the stifling effect of the antiquated paywall system on the research process, Projekt DEAL was established to negotiate nationwide transformative agreements as a means to transition from the current subscription system to one based on open access publishing models that enable complete and immediate access to the latest research for scholars and citizens alike, free of cost or other barriers. “DEAL is fully in line with the objectives of the OA2020 Initiative, which is strongly supported by the Max Planck Society,’ emphasized MPS President Martin Stratmann.
The transformative agreement that the DEAL negotiators propose to the major academic publishers is a “publish and read” model covering open access publication of all scholarly articles by authors affiliated with German institutions and, at the same time, grant reading access for German institutions to the publisher’s entire portfolio of electronic journals still behind paywalls.
As no sustainable offer according these fundamental criteria has been forthcoming from the publisher, negotiations with Elsevier were suspended last July. Researchers at the 200 institutions supporting the DEAL negotiations have consequently foregone access to the Elsevier platform and are broadly making use of alternative routes for their research needs. The Max Planck Digital Library has already set in place mechanisms to address the content needs of its researchers when Elsevier shuts off access at the beginning of January.
“The system of scholarly publishing today is a relic of the print era, and we want to activate a real paradigm shift in order to finally utilize the opportunities of the digital age”, says Gerard Meijer, director at Max Planck Society’s Fritz Haber Institute and a member of the DEAL negotiation team. In a strong show of support for the DEAL negotiations, 13 prominent Max Planck Society scientists resigned from their positions as editors and members of the editorial and advisory boards of Elsevier journals in 2017.
“Transformative agreements are one of the primary strategies for driving large scale transition of scholarly publishing to open access and are increasingly being adopted by the scores of international supporters of our global Open Access 2020 Initiative”, says Ralf Schimmer, Deputy General Manager of the Max Planck Digital Library. ”As both producers and consumers of the research articles circulated through their journal platforms, we have the leverage to demand a system that meets the needs of our researchers, and by adopting these transformative agreements, we will be able to achieve our Society’s goal of publishing the vast majority of our researchers’ articles open access in a matter of a few short years. We have already accomplished such deals with some of the most relevant publishers to Max Planck researchers, such as Springer Nature, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics Publishing. Further publishers will follow in 2019.”
The Max Planck Digital Library established a central transformative Open Access agreement with Oxford University Press (OUP) allowing Max Planck Members to publish Open Access in OUP’s journal collection. Open Access charges will be covered centrally by MPDL as of submission date January 1, 2019.
A strong signal to the publishers from the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference
The 14th Berlin Open Access Conference, hosted by the Max Planck Society and organized by the Max Planck Digital Library on behalf of the Open Access 2020 Initiative (oa2020.org), has just come to an end after two intense days with 170 participants from 37 countries around the world discussing where the research organizations and their library consortia stand in their negotiations with scholarly publishers in transitioning scholarly publishing to open access. The participants represented research performing and research funding organizations, libraries and government, associations of researchers and other umbrella organizations, many of them holding high-level positions at their organizations. In his welcoming address, Max Planck Society President Martin Stratmann captured the spirit of the meeting when he stated: 'Open Access is the responsibility of all of us'.
The conference brought to light strong consensus and alignment among the diverse international communities represented around the necessity of stepping up efforts to move away from the subscription-based system of scholarly publishing to open access-based business models. A major focus was placed on transformative agreements (eg “read and publish”), which were identified as perhaps the most viable instrument at the moment to accelerate the transition to open access. As it became clear from statements made by representatives from Japan, the United States, South Africa and others, that readiness to adopt this approach is now extending beyond Europe, where it originated, and is currently being adopted in several countries; in particular, this was emphasized in a bold statement from China, the nation with the largest share of research publications.
After aligning on the goals and strategies during the first day of the conference, the CEOs of the three largest publishers of scholarly journals, Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, and Springer Nature, were invited by the President of the Max Planck Society, Martin Stratmann, to discuss the global demand for transformative agreements on the second day. The message conveyed to the publishers was that the global research communities are committed to complete and immediate open access, to retaining author copyrights and to negotiating transformative agreements that are temporary, transitional, and cost-neutral as a means to shift to full open access within just a few years with the expectation that cost savings in scholarly communication will follow as market forces take hold. The publishers were called upon to move towards complete and immediate open access according to these principles.
It also came out that there is a strong alignment between the approaches taken by OA2020, Plan S, the Jussieu Call and other approaches dedicated to drive more open access into the system of scholarly communication.
Further reports will soon appear on the homepage of the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference:
Read more in the Nature News
As a keynote speaker the MPDL presented their new project bloxberg at the last Blockchain Munich Meetup. The bloxberg infrastructure is a secure global blockchain established by a consortium of leading research organizations to provide scientists worldwide with decentralized services based on the bloxberg-blockchain. It aims to foster a collaboration among the global scientific community, empowering researchers with robust, autonomous services that transcend institutional boundaries. For example, with consented transactions on the bloxberg infrastructure, research claims need not be limited to one institution alone, but can be confirmed by the whole trusted network. Additionally, researchers can also leverage bloxberg to create a transparent footprint of their work, without revealing its content.
The vision is to have sufficient representation from various scientific entities participating in the consortium, so that the network itself may replace traditional scientific infrastructure such as closed-access publishing of research results, among others.
A great deal of interest was shown by the participants who were really interested in the topic of Blockchain in Science. The MPDL’s vision was lively discussed during and after the talk.
We would like to thank everyone who joined us at the Blockchain Munich Meetup and we hope to see everyone soon!
Starting today, MPG instituts can now find all information on our Software Licensing Service online. Searching for a product or for licensing conditions? Want to know how you can benefit from the service or how it is organized? Just visit SoLi and find all information you need. Please note that the website can only be accessed from within the MPG IP-range.
Supplementing our existing agreements with open access publishers, MPDL set up a further contract with the Royal Society. Max Planck authors will now benefit from article processing charges (APCs) being covered centrally for the Royal Society’s open access journals Open Biology and Royal Society Open Science. Learn more about how we support open access publishing at:
We are piloting a new tool that, different from Google Docs, also gives authors the ability to collaborate in the article writing process and share references, figures, equations and tables--all in one environment. This new tool is called SciFlow, an authoring platform that has been expressly customized for Max Planck Society researchers. In SciFlow you will find style templates required by the journals that are most popular among MPG researchers, making it easy to format your article for submission and re-submission according to different journal requirements.
If you have not yet tried SciFlow, go to https://www.sciflow.net where you will find a dedicated Max Planck Society landing page to get started and additional information on open access publishing (access from within a Max Planck IP range required). This new tool is brought to you by the Max Planck Digital Library, your information service provider.
How can we make your work easier? MPDL would like to learn more about the tools and services you use and prefer when you are writing and publishing scientific papers, such as collaborative writing and reference sharing tools like SciFlow, authoring and language editing services, independent peer review services (not associated with a journal), or post publication research communication services. Tell us how we can make your work easier by responding to two quick questions that will help us understand the tools you find useful and what further tools you would like. We want to anticipate your needs and provide you with the best service possible.
Go to the survey:
Thank you for your time and do not hesitate to contact us.
Offsetting agreements are open access business models that offset subscription costs against publication costs. As instruments of the open access transformation they are intended to enable the transition to purely publication-based open access models. In the latest edition of the “ABI Technik” library journal, Adriana Sikora and Michael Schlachter provide an insight into the back office work with MPDL’s offsetting agreements, presenting all workflows as well as pointing out challenges and problems.
With the beginning of the year, MPDL entered in a new transformative agreement with IOP publishing. It includes access to IOP's premium journal collection IOPScience extra as well as allowing authors to publish open access in 36 selected subscription journals under a free Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY).
Munich, February, 2018 – The Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) is pleased to announce a new pilot project with Bernstein Technologies GmbH (Bernstein), which will give MPG-scientists access to the groundbreaking blockchain technology to certify their research data on the Bitcoin Blockchain.
In particular the collaboration between Bernstein and the MPDL will launch a custom version of the Bernstein web application and grant access to a selected group of users within the MPG. Using this technology Bernstein allows researchers at the MPG to create a digital trail of records of their innovation. Therefore designs, inventions and proofs of use can be registered to obtain blockchain certificates that prove ownership, existence and integrity of any IP asset. Thanks to a unique cryptographic layer all notarized information will remain entirely private.
“Being able to certify research data at any state is a big step towards proving and securing data ownership. We are happy to offer our MPG-researchers such an easy while, at the same time, secure tool to certify their research data” says Dr. Frank Sander, General Manager of the MPDL. Marco Barulli, Managing Director of Bernstein is thinking ahead and states that “the present collaboration may also evolve in the implementation of a defensive publishing service combining blockchain certificates and IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) decentralized data storage”.
Both parties believe blockchain and other decentralized technologies will have a strong impact on the way knowledge will be registered and shared in the future to the benefits of science, art, innovation and society.
Bernstein is a German startup offering blockchain-based solutions for securing intellectual property assets. It combines blockchain certifications with digital timestamps issued by official Time Stamp Authorities (TSA) in different geographies. It allows companies to create a digital trail of records of their innovation processes using blockchain technology. To learn more visit: https://www.bernstein.io/
About Max Planck Digital Library
The Max Planck Digital Library is a service unit within the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (MPG) dedicated to the strategic planning, development and operation of the digital infrastructures necessary for providing Max Planck Institutes with scientific information, publication support and research data management services. To learn more visit: https://www.mpdl.mpg.de/
Enthusiasm for the MPDL-services is continually increasing: being invited to the MPI for Gravitational Physics (Albert-Einstein-Institute), we started our first gig this year on January, 25 in Hannover. Within the institute’s weekly meeting we presented our wide service portfolio which was very well received by the attendees. We were very happy to see that the whole space was full of people who were interested in our talk!
A big thank you goes out to Dr. Frank Ohme who invited us and also to the whole institute’s hospitality!
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