White Paper


The world of academic publishing is in need of a significant revamp. Issues such as inefficiencies, biases, discriminatory practices, high publication costs, and outdated distribution formats hinder authors, reviewers, and editors from being appropriately rewarded for their work, and restrict access to valuable knowledge for the general public. NobleBlocks aims to address these challenges by creating an innovative scientific publication platform that leverages blockchain technology to decentralize publishing and democratises access to research findings, academic journals, and other scientific publications. This whitepaper outlines how NobleBlocks proposes to solve the problems in academic publishing, and how it will use blockchain technology to achieve its goals.

The Challenges in Academic Publishing

The current publishing process is slow, with authors required to go to great lengths to have their work reviewed and approved for publication by recognised journals. Discriminatory practices in the industry favour certain research groups, famous universities, and more developed countries, while hindering the recognition of work by competent experts who lack the correct connections, credentials, or nationality. High publication costs pose an economic barrier to scientists with significant findings yet insufficient funding, and outdated distribution formats limit the potential reach and impact of scientific publications. Furthermore, the business models used by most publishers today involve hefty fees that authors must pay to have work published or readers must pay to gain access, leading to publishing companies profiteering at the disadvantage of research scientists and their audience.

The NobleBlocks Solution

NobleBlocks is a blockchain-based scientific journal that aims to decentralize publishing and democratises access to research findings, academic journals, and other scientific publications. It utilises blockchain technology to disrupt the exploitation of scientists and curb unchecked profiteering by agents and publishing companies. More importantly, it ensures that research findings remain intact and are maintained indefinitely. By democratising journal publication and access, NobleBlocks enables authors to hurdle financial constraints by minimising publication-related costs while maximising rewards from their published work.

Less Restrictive Platform for Publication and Access

By decentralising scientific publications, NobleBlocks enables scientists and authors to submit work regardless of their stature within their profession. It opens opportunities for Ph.D. students, mid-level scientists, associate professors, and many more fields of science and the academe. This democratises access, enabling more people to acquire valuable knowledge and insights that can further even more advancement and innovation.

True Peer-to-Peer System

NobleBlocks utilises a true peer-to-peer system that significantly reduces processing times while maintaining publication quality. Our peer review system is objective, binary, and rapid. While most journals take over six weeks to complete the review process, NobleBlocks' peer review process is much faster, and ensures a higher level of objectivity.

Irrefutable Publication Record

Each bit of data in the NobleBlocks blockchain has an immutable, chronological record that is virtually impossible to tamper with. This time-stamped ledger preserves irrefutable evidence of when scientific discoveries, research findings, or inventions were publicly released. Proper indexing and electronic archiving also help keep journals discoverable in repositories.

Cost-Efficient Publication

Authors can hurdle financial constraints by minimising publication-related costs while maximising rewards from their published work. There are no steep article processing fees that hinder researchers from publishing their findings, and no expensive subscription fees that limit knowledge access. Enabling direct connections among stakeholders also greatly reduces fees for scientific publication. Authors pay only for the services they avail of in the peer review process. Editors and reviewers are charged a transaction fee for earning tokens, though the service fee is a minimal percentage of tokens earned.

Streamlined Publication Process

NobleBlocks maintains the essence of traditional journal publishing while streamlining the workflow to make the process faster and easier. We have developed a single, user-friendly, intuitive platform where authors, reviewers, and editors can communicate and collaborate, removing traditional bottlenecks that impede the efficiency of scientific publication. Authors can easily submit work and track the progress of their review, while editors can select qualified reviewers who can aid in peer review decisions. A binary mode for article acceptance or rejection simplifies the decision-making process.

Multidisciplinary Nature

NobleBlocks provides a multidisciplinary platform for publication, allowing authors to contribute manuscripts on any topic from a wide range of fields, including psychology, economics, statistics, policy analysis, business, engineering, social science, and humanities. This attracts the widest possible pool of authors, funding bodies, and readers with zero restrictions on publication topics or niches. It also paves the way for a more holistic understanding of issues as authors from different disciplines work on parallel solutions to common problems or research questions. The different perspectives elevate the quality of research outcomes and contribute to maximum societal progress.

Leveraging Web3 for Scientific Publishing

Web3 technology decentralises access to knowledge and champions a core emphasis on data ownership and user privacy. It democratises data and enables people to decide for themselves whether or not or how they wish to monetise their data. At NobleBlocks, we merge aspects of traditional web technology with Web3 components. Aside from publishing on the blockchain, we use Web3 features, such as tokenising our platform's financial and rewarding aspects.

The NobleBlocks Process

The entire NobleBlocks publishing process occurs on a single platform with an easy-to-use interface. Authors, reviewers, and editors have their own dashboards where they can submit manuscripts, give recommendations, and perform other tasks. They can also observe the status of current and past submissions or reviews. NobleBlocks significantly reduces publishing process times by streamlining the publication workflow. Authors, reviewers, and editors can communicate and collaborate in a single platform, with full transparency championed at every step of review. For effortless tracking and monitoring, manuscripts are tagged as successful, unsuccessful, or in progress.

Accounts and Roles of Stakeholders

Authors purchase tokens, which are considered entry fees and can be used to process articles. Peer reviewers provide objective, thorough assessments to ensure that all publications are sound and well-grounded. As their reviewer score increases with exceptional quality reviews, peer reviewers are granted editor status. As editors, they become “curators of science” and are invited to review only the finest manuscripts for publishing. This ensures a high level of objectivity and quality in the publication process.

Here's a breakdown of the process:

  1. Manuscript submission: An author submits a manuscript for publication and fills in fields for title, abstract, keywords, article type, author affiliations, and other details. The author also provides images, figures, tables, captions, and other supplemental information. Additionally, the author agrees to pay the article processing fee and deposits tokens for the editor pool.

  2. Preliminary assessment: An editor receives a notification of manuscripts available for review. The editor previews the title and abstract and decides whether or not to handle the manuscript. If the editor accepts, they are given access to all submission details to make a preliminary assessment. The editor evaluates the manuscript for scientific soundness and impact and then decides to either reject the manuscript outright or find a pool of reviewers.

  3. Reviewer recruitment: The editor finds reviewers via a search and query system. The editor uses filters to create a shortlist of potential reviewers and then uses an editable email template to invite them. The editor receives a notification whenever a reviewer accepts or declines an invitation to review. Selected reviewers are given access to the manuscript and all relevant materials.

  4. Peer review: Reviewers evaluate the manuscript for scientific soundness, quality, and potential audience impact. Reviewers answer journal questions in multiple-choice formats or type their comments into text fields. Reviewers choose to either accept the manuscript as is or reject it completely. The editor reviews the recommendations given by reviewers. The editor accepts or declines the manuscript for publishing. They may also ask for revisions and communicate with the author on how to move forward with changes.

  5. Copyediting: The author is notified when their manuscript has been approved for publishing. The author makes a final deposit for copyediting and final publishing preparation of the manuscript. The manuscript undergoes formatting and copyediting before final publication.

  6. Publication and electronic archiving: The manuscript is added to the blockchain and made accessible to the public. The publication receives a time stamp that serves as irrefutable proof of when the research findings or manuscript were made public. The manuscript is electronically archived and indexed in recognized databases.

Tokenised reward system for contributors and funding bodies

NobleBlocks utilises a tokenised reward system in which users have the ability to purchase utility tokens. These utility tokens are used to carry out functions such as processing the article submission and incentivising editors and reviewers.

NobleBlocks utility tokens can be used in peer-to-peer transactions on the blockchain as well as traded on public exchanges.

Three-step plan for token use throughout the publication process

NobleBlocks follows a three-step plan for the purchase, earning, or reuse of tokens. The below table shows these specific steps and relationships among stakeholders throughout the peer review process.

Step 1: An author joins NobleBlocks, buys tokens, and initiates a peer review process. The author submits a manuscript for review and deposits tokens to recruit field editors to handle the manuscript. The editor who accepts the manuscript review earns tokens, which they can place in their wallet upon review completion. The editor evaluates the scientific soundness of the manuscript and decides to either reject it outright or accept it for peer review.

Step 2: Before peer review is initiated, the author receives a request to deposit additional tokens for the reviewers recruited by the editor. Reviewers who accept the review earn tokens that they can place in their respective wallets following the completion of the review. The reviewers assess the manuscript’s quality and impact and give the editor their recommendation to either reject the manuscript or accept it as is. The author has the ability to deposit tokens into their account, which can then be automatically used to cover all of their expenses without the need for them to handle each expense separately.

Step 3: If the manuscript is approved for publishing, the author receives another request for token deposit. This final deposit of tokens covers copyediting, formatting, and publication fees. The copyediting pool then processes the manuscript for publishing.

Awarding and earning of tokens by stakeholders

The primary stakeholders of NobleBlocks are the authors, reviewers, editors, and readers.

Upon joining NobleBlocks, authors need to purchase tokens that represent their entry cost. They are then awarded tokens based on metrics set in an award table defined by the steering committee.

Unlike authors, reviewers do not need to purchase tokens upfront. Instead, they are incentivised with utility tokens as bonus for review tasks undertaken. The higher their rating, the more reviews to which they are likely to be invited, and the more tokens they can earn.

Just like reviewers, editors also earn tokens for tasks they undertake. Aside from the manuscripts they handle, they also earn tokens by writing editorials, organising special collections, and fulfilling other activities that focus the flow of scientific information.

Use and reuse of tokens

Tokens earned by NobleBlocks users can be stored in wallets, reused, or sold. Editors and reviewers can use tokens earned to cover fees for peer review activities, and publication fees should they decide to submit their own manuscripts. They can also trade these tokens in public exchanges. However, tokens must be held for a period of time before they can be sold.

Restoring a culture of openness in the field of research

Establishing a scientific journal on the blockchain will enable a culture of openness in the field of research - a new culture in scientific publication that sees research scientists and the academe able to publish their work regardless of level, niche or institution.

This will enable a culture in which central authorities such as government bodies, funding agencies and publishing houses no longer possess sole authority in deciding which materials are published. A culture in which scientific publication becomes accessible to all!

NobleBlocks is taking a huge leap forward in creating this culture, and advancing the world of scientific publication with it.

In addition to its benefits for authors, reviewers, and editors, the NobleBlocks platform also brings advantages for readers. By publishing articles on the blockchain, the platform ensures that research findings are publicly available, transparent, and immutable.

Moreover, the platform employs a tokenized bonus system that incentivizes reviewers and editors to provide high-quality, rigorous feedback on manuscripts. This ensures that published articles are of the highest scientific caliber and meet the highest standards of peer review.

NobleBlocks also prioritizes openness, transparency, and accessibility in the publication process. Through its decentralized and democratized platform, the company will empower researchers and academics at all levels, regardless of institutional affiliation or level of expertise. By doing so, NobleBlocks is helping to create a more level playing field for researchers and a more open, equitable, and democratic culture in the scientific community.

Additional Developments

NobleBlocks has ambitious plans for future developments, including the integration of AI to assist with the publication process. With the increasing amount of data and information being generated, AI can help to manage the publication process more efficiently, including identifying suitable peer reviewers, flagging potential issues, and recommending articles for publication.

NobleBlocks also plans to expand its platform to include features such as virtual conferences, online workshops, and seminars to facilitate knowledge sharing and networking among researchers and academics. These features will help to further democratise access to academic resources and create opportunities for collaboration among scholars from different disciplines.

NobleBlocks is also committed to maintaining the highest standards of transparency and accountability. All transactions on the platform are recorded on the blockchain, providing a clear and immutable record of all activities. The platform will also undergo regular audits to ensure compliance with ethical and professional standards.

Marketing and Adoption

To ensure widespread adoption and use of the NobleBlocks platform, we plan to launch a comprehensive marketing campaign that includes targeted outreach to researchers, academics, and universities around the world. We will also leverage social media channels and online communities to promote the benefits of our platform and create a buzz around the launch.

To incentivise early adopters, we plan to offer discounted token rates and other rewards for those who sign up and contribute to the platform in its early stages. This will help to build momentum and create a strong user base that will continue to drive growth and innovation in the future.

We also plan to collaborate with academic institutions and funding bodies to establish partnerships and sponsorships that will help to further promote the platform and its benefits. By building a strong network of supporters and advocates, we aim to create a sustainable and thriving ecosystem that benefits everyone involved.

Risks and Challenges

As with any new technology or platform, there are inherent risks and challenges that must be addressed to ensure the success of NobleBlocks. One of the primary challenges we face is the need to educate users about the benefits of blockchain and Web3 technology and to overcome any resistance to change or adoption.

Another challenge we face is ensuring the quality and integrity of published research on our platform. While our true peer-to-peer review system and strict ethical guidelines will help to maintain a high standard of quality, there is always the risk of fraudulent or inaccurate information being published.

There is also the risk of regulatory challenges and legal issues related to the use of blockchain technology and the publication of research findings. We will work closely with legal and regulatory experts to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Finally, we face the challenge of building a sustainable business model that can support the ongoing development and growth of the platform. We plan to address this challenge by leveraging multiple revenue streams, including token sales, transaction fees, and partnerships with academic institutions and funding bodies.

NobleBlocks is a bold and ambitious project that seeks to transform the academic publishing industry for the better. By leveraging blockchain technology, Web3 components, and AI, we aim to create a platform that is more efficient, cost-effective, and transparent than traditional publishing models. With its true peer-to-peer review system, multidisciplinary nature, and commitment to transparency and accountability, NobleBlocks is poised to revolutionise the way that research is published and shared around the world. We invite researchers, academics, and anyone who is passionate about the pursuit of knowledge to join us on this exciting journey.

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