Proposal Open Access

Agora: A proposal to overcome the limitations of the current knowledge creation process


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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;Agora: A proposal to overcome the limitations of the current knowledge creation process&lt;br /&gt;

&lt;p&gt;By Scientistsfive&lt;br /&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Abstract: The knowledge creation process is broken and can be improved by a combination of currently emerging tools.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;The rationale for this proposal is the notion that the current scientific process is not optimal:&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;* Artificially staged competitions (grants, publications, theses):&lt;br /&gt;
1. &amp;lsquo;system gamers&amp;rsquo; are supported, not real scientists&lt;br /&gt;
2. do require lots of otherwise wasted efforts&lt;br /&gt;
3. the selecting quality of committees and peers is questionable&lt;br /&gt;
4. the average mean is supported, not the outliers that are good for the advancement of science&lt;br /&gt;
5. wrong cultures emerged and continue to exist&lt;br /&gt;
6. creative monopolies are destroyed&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;* The publication and communication system is outdated:&lt;br /&gt;
1. only the tip of the iceberg of research projects is visible to the public&lt;br /&gt;
2. negative results are not being published&lt;br /&gt;
3. raw data is not being published&lt;br /&gt;
4. gate-keepers prevent access&lt;br /&gt;
5. results are being published late&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;* Incentives are wrongly set:&lt;br /&gt;
1. bringing up faked, but buzzy results counts&lt;br /&gt;
2. being honest does not count&lt;br /&gt;
3. revolutionisers and innovators are blocked&lt;br /&gt;
4. it does not pay risking novel approaches&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;* The patent system is broken:&lt;br /&gt;
patents are not used anymore to incentivise innovators to publish ideas and innovations (to patent - from latin: to lay open)&lt;br /&gt;
1. it is a self-sustaining effort and money generating system&lt;br /&gt;
2. is used by companies to fight&lt;br /&gt;
3. it is used to increase the entrance barrier for competitors&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;* It takes a very long time for innovators to be recognised and to be appreciated - and it might not pay&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;* A huge overhead of&lt;br /&gt;
administration exists&lt;br /&gt;
&amp;lsquo;protective&amp;rsquo; measures (animal, workforce, environment etc) grew that are self-sustaining and failing their initial noble aim&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;* The existence of intrinsically motivated scientists and the explorer nature of humans are ignored&lt;/p&gt;


&lt;p&gt;Most scientists will agree on the above mentioned statements and wish for a change. Still many will argue, that this is a very negative interpretation of an obviously working knowledge creation process (&amp;lsquo;we have been to the moon&amp;rsquo;). Digging too deep into this discussion, one ends up to ask what is best for humanity - the discussion will become very philosophical and cannot be finally solved, therefore - I will stick with the procedural impression that there is a better way to create new knowledge. And by doing so, I ll&amp;nbsp; be able to continue with this proposal:&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Acknowledging the fact that a system change will need to set incentives immediately right and given the size of the required changes, only a &amp;lsquo;new kid on the block&amp;rsquo; will be able to achieve such a megalithic aim. The name for this concept could be Agora - the marketplace in the greek cities - known as the birthplace of democracy.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;To improve the knowledge creation process, the Agora system needs to achieve following goals:&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;1. Being decentralised, be &amp;lsquo;just there&amp;rsquo;, under self control, no single point of failure&lt;br /&gt;
2. Provide the right incentives&lt;br /&gt;
towards providing truth&lt;br /&gt;
towards being open&lt;br /&gt;
towards sharing&lt;br /&gt;
3. Support innovators and outliers&lt;br /&gt;
4. Support discourse, open-mindedness&lt;br /&gt;
5. Reduce unnecessary &amp;lsquo;overhead&amp;rsquo; workload&lt;br /&gt;
6. Provide innovators with the freedom to do what they think is good and if it is good&lt;br /&gt;
7. incentives them strongly and early&lt;br /&gt;
8. Provide a neatless integration into the current system&lt;br /&gt;
9. Allow the support of basic science as well as applied sciences&lt;/p&gt;


&lt;p&gt;The solution Agora will consist of an ideal combination of tools that are currently emerging in different facets and different fields, the concepts are overlapping and names are not precise:&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;1. Blockchain decentralized databases (e.g. bitcoins)&lt;br /&gt;
2. Trust and value networks (e.g. Ripples, Ethereum)&lt;br /&gt;
3. Web 2.0 tools for scientists (social networks, open access publications, dynamic publications (e.g. GitHub), data repositories, wikis, blogs)&lt;br /&gt;
4. Cryptocurrencies&lt;br /&gt;
5. Cryptography (hashing, signing, etc.)&lt;br /&gt;
6. Future markets (betting)&lt;br /&gt;
7. Crowdfunding&lt;br /&gt;
8. Anonymous publications, multiple online identities, &amp;hellip;&lt;br /&gt;
9. Whistle blowing platforms&lt;/p&gt;



&lt;p&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
Personal remarks:&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;* Past already told us many times that all big things looked a bit weird in their beginnings - future will tell. The problem is to find the right time point in the future to look back and to decide :)&lt;br /&gt;
* Obviously this proposal is lacking concrete implementation steps - but, lets appreciate its value: for the first time, these mentioned concepts were interpreted as a potential solution to faults in the knowledge creation process. Its implementation and defining &amp;lsquo;ideal&amp;rsquo; is certainly a far road to march &amp;hellip;&lt;br /&gt;
&amp;lsquo;implementations of ideas&amp;rsquo; should be honoured - but without ideas there is no implementation &amp;hellip;&lt;br /&gt;
* We will continue to work on ideas for implementation and to publish this proposal in more accessible (and currently appreciated) ways and so on &amp;hellip;&lt;br /&gt;
Furthermore, since this proposal is very vague it will not be used in the future to claim inventor ship of any real implementation of any of these tools. &amp;lsquo;Inventorship&amp;rsquo; in the current sense so...&lt;/p&gt;


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