A patent application printed Thursday claims the entire process of performing research can usually benefit from the blockchain. Brought with a team at IBM’s Watson Research Center, the patent application presents an image for dynamic collaboration – one where researchers can track the work they do across institutional borders. It’s another non-financial use of the distributed-ledger technology, which IBM has championed in recent several weeks.
This latest patent could be regarded as a more sophisticated software changelog, however for science. Or, because the filing puts it, a method that gives “a tamper resistant log of research”. In the filing:
“The blockchain system can build a blockchain representing an investigation project, in which the blockchain comprises an initial block of research data an additional block of research data representing a log of the analysis performed around the research data. Summary blocks and correction blocks may also be put into the blockchain representing the publish research into the research results”.
The applying – entitled “Blockchain for Open Scientific Research” – was initially filed using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in December 2017. IBM researchers Jae-wook Ahn, Maria Chang, Patrick Watson and Ravindranath Kokku are listed as inventors. Based on the patent, “currently, you will find limited platforms that provide discussing details about research and showing transparent data collection and analysis steps. Platforms which do exist, don’t have the requisite controls and mechanisms to match reliable data, because there are couple of choices for making certain that data is going to be resistant against modification.”
IBM isn’t the only real group trying to apply distributed ledger technology towards the scientific realm. A Berlin-based think tank, Blockchain for Science, held its first worldwide conference the 2009 week. The blockchain-flavored patent is among many for giant Blue. Based on data printed in September, IBM was behind only Chinese internet giant Alibaba in the amount of blockchain-related patent filings.