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Some thoughts on #ASAPBio

February 14, 2017

#ASAPBio aims to accelerate dissemination of scientific knowledge by making it easier to share preprints. You can read their mission statement on their website.

 

I have cursorily followed ASAPBio since its inception. Their view on a “Central Service (CS)” (http://asapbio.org/benefits-of-a-cs) caught my attention, and this document is about this idea of a CS. It is obvious, even to me, that ASAPBio folks are doing good work in an area that is becoming more and more important, with the increase in the number and complexity of scientific results and the difficulty in scaling the classical journal model.

That being said, it is unclear to me why building a CS (ostensibly from scratch) is a good use of this opportunity.

 

I think it is better to build on top of existing infrastructure an entirely distributed preprint ecosystem. For example, “anybody” should be able to run a preprint server — even a small lab. Conferences, symposia, summer schools, lab retreats, etc. could all run their own servers. Such radical decentralization is common in most other tech and should / will be common in scientific literature too, as current solutions continue to face scaling problems. Mirroring and synchronization protocols would keep all content current, versioned, and highly available.

 

Read Bhatia's full blog post here.

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