ARTiFACTSARTiFACTS has released v2.0 of its platform. This upgrade enables researchers to establish the provenance of their work in real-time. The significance: their research becomes accessible and citable before publication.

ARTiFACTS adds to the traditional publication process,” said ARTiFACTS CEO and co-founder Dave Kochalko. “For the first time, there is a mechanism to establish a chain of provenance for in-progress research. Sharing work before publication increases transparency and enhances scientific papers’ value when they are published. Validation is provided by the fact that material is instantly citable.

David Kochalko 3rd degree connection3rd David has a account ARTiFACTS Co-Founder and President (Image credit LinkedIn)
David Kochalko 3rd degree connection3rd David has a account ARTiFACTS Co-Founder and President

Citation attributions from authoring tools, workspaces, and third-party tools deliver real-time credit and exposure unavailable anywhere else,” added Kochalko. “The inclusion of ‘cited reasons’ conveys meaning and context.

Some background

ARTiFACTS offers a collaboration and attribution platform for scholarly research. This  purpose-built platform is for academic and scientific research and leverages blockchain technology.

Today’s digital scholarship often creates linkages among a narrowed subset of indexed publications long after discoveries are made. In contrast, ARTiFACTS focuses on capturing and linking knowledge from its initial ideation throughout the research process to informal and formal dissemination.

By using the ARTiFACTS platform, researchers will be able immutably to:

  • prove ownership and existence of novel work
  • expand access to their research artifacts
  • provide and receive ‘real-time’ attribution for new work
  • rapidly build and demonstrate a body of scholarly contributions.

Researchers are able to record a valid and immutable chain of record in real-time – from their earliest research artifacts and including citing/attribution transactions. ARTiFACTS captures and links knowledge from ideation throughout the research process, whether for informal or formal dissemination.

ARTiFACTS is a signatory to the Wellcome Foundation’s open data sharing initiative. This seeks to accelerate discovery in the face of public health crises.

Using the bloxberg blockchain

By using the bloxberg blockchain ledger (from the Max Planck Institute), the ARTiFACTS platform integrates with ORCID and Google Docs. Users register files of any type. They receive proof of attribution. By making files public, these become citable while remaining secure in public records.

Claimed practical benefits include:

  • providing a verifiable record of research by securing files or metadata on the bloxberg blockchain
  • complying with data sharing policies or requirements mandated by funders, institutions or publishers
  • delivering insights into in-progress research citations.

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

ARTiFACTS is free to individuals and small groups of researchers. Version 2.0:

  • is also available on a commercial basis to research organisations, universities and publishers
  • integrates with third-party information systems and APIs – to fit existing workflows.

This v2 release occurs after 18 months of proof-of-concept testing, designing workflows and developing APIs. ARTiFACTS says it plans to continue to leverage its existing partnerships with ORCID, the Max Planck Institute and publishers.

There is, however, one obvious snag. While all that is described above seems worthwhile the absence of detailed information (for example on its web site) about the ARTiFACTS platform raises the question: why would you want to place your valuable research on ARTiFACTS? This risks being akin to depositing your hard earned salary into ‘bank.anywhere’. ARTiFACTS needs to be more explicit about what it does and how it works if it is to hasten adoption.

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Charles Brett
Charles Brett is a business/technology analyst consultant. His specialist areas include enterprise software, blockchain and enterprise mobility tech (including metering). Specific industry sectors of interest and experience include finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy. Charles has spoken at multiple industry conferences, has written for numerous publications (including the London Times and the Financial Times). He was the General Chair of the bi-annual High Performance Systems Workshop, 2005. In addition he is an author and novelist. His Technology books include: Making the Most of Mobility Vol I (eBook, 2012); Explaining iTunes, iPhones and iPads for Windows Users (eBook, 2011); 5 Axes of Business Application Integration (2004). His published novels, in the Corruption Series, include: The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis, Corruption’s Price: A Spanish Deceit and Virginity Despoiled. The fourth in The Corruption Series - Resurrection - has is now available. Charles has a B.A. and M.A in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has lived or worked in Italy, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, California and New York, Spain, Israel, Estonia and Cyprus.


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