A Blockchain-Based Approach to Provenance and Reproducibility in Research Workflows


The traditional Proof of Existence blockchain service on the Bitcoin network can be used to verify the existence of any research data at a specific point of time, and to validate the data integrity, without revealing its content. Several variants of the blockchain service exist to certify the existence of data relying on cryptographic fingerprinting, thus enabling an efficient verification of the authenticity of such certifications. However, nowadays research data is continuously changing and being modified through different processing steps in most scientific research workflows such that certifications of individual data objects seem to be constantly outdated in this setting. This paper describes how the blockchain and distributed ledger technology can be used to form a new certification model, that captures the research process as a whole in a more meaningful way, including the description of the used data through its different stages and the associated computational pipeline, code for analysis and the experimental design. The scientific blockchain infrastructure bloxberg, together with a deep learning based analysis from the behavioral science field are used to show the applicability of the approach.



Software And Hardware