Scholarly Publishing on the Blockchain - From Smart Papers to Smart Informetrics

Tracking #: 566-1546

Responsible editor: 

Ruben Verborgh

Submission Type: 

Research Paper


Blockchains provide decentralised, tamper-free registries of transactions among partners that may not trust each other. For the scientific community, blockchain smart contracts have been proposed to decentralise and make more transparent multiple aspects of scholarly communications. We show how an Ethereum-based suite of smart contracts running on top of a Web-enabled governance framework can facilitate decentralised computation of citations that is trustworthy. We implement and evaluate Smart Papers, and extend it with a model for decentralised citation counts. We show how our approach complements current models for decentralised publishing and informetrics calculation, and analyse cost and performance implications.


Supplementary Files (optional): 


  • Reviewed

Data repository URLs: 

Date of Submission: 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Date of Decision: 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Nanopublication URLs:



Solicited Reviews:


Meta-Review by Editor

The points raised by all of the reviewer, in particular:
- extending the calculation of costs (as suggested by Reviewer 1)
- critically assessing the correspondence between citations and trust (Reviewer 1)
- documenting reproducibility (Reviewer 2)
- commenting on the limitations of the work (Reviewer 3)

Ruben Verborgh (

ORCID as uint256

Dear authors,

I found something that I think is a small error in your paper. In Figure 1, you model ORCID identifiers as "uint256". However, ORCID identifiers are not purely numeric, as the last character can be an "X" (see e.g. the ORCID for the last author).

Best regards,

Tobias Kuhn

Re: ORCID as uint256

I learned that the last "digit" of ORCID identifiers is just a checksum that therefore doesn't need to be represented in this context. So, my issue raised above is not valid.