ARTiFACTS – A Blockchain Platform for Scientific & Academic Research

Business area: Scientific Research
Project type: Blockchain-based Platform

Business Overview

ARTiFACTS is a unique platform, which is purpose-built for academic and scientific research using blockchain technology. Its main functions are the management of research projects and providing evidence of the first-place ownership of their work, referring to other works, and maintaining the invariance of these links by implementing the Proof-of-Existence and Proof-of-Attribution concepts.

The ARTiFACTS platform makes significant contributions to the development of science. Created especially for researchers, the platform helps to promote scientific progress forward. Researchers can immutably and perpetually prove ownership and the existence of novel work, while at the same time, expand access to their scientific and academic research artifacts, provide and receive “real-time” attribution for novel work, and demonstrate their body of scholarly contributions more comprehensively and rapidly.

Challenges

The clients contacted us with a request to apply the blockchain, or rather the Proof-of-Existence and Proof-of-Attribution concepts, to store the materials obtained as a result of writing research papers. Besides this, the network would have to auto-identify files and their authors. After initial analyzing, we suggested all possible options of how to organize data structure: what part to store in the blockchain, and how to connect data from the blockchain with the data inside of the system.

Solutions

The first version of the product was based on Ropsten (Ethereum trial network). However, after analyzing various framework options for building a private blockchain, we decided the use of Hyperledger Sawtooth will be a better solution in the current case.

In this regard, we developed a data transfer strategy to move the data from Ropsten to the new private blockchain Sawtooth. Our client’s partners didn’t have experience in using Sawtooth, which is why we created a technical manual and a set of recommendations for establishing this blockchain network.

At the same time, we faced several problems such as auto-identification of authors and published articles, and data matching from various sources in real-time. As a result, we developed specific algorithms for data identification and validation.

Outcome

Thanks to our efforts, the client got a unique system, which allows leading research projects to protect unpublished materials by certifying them in the blockchain, and increases the trust level by creating incontestable citation evidence of the (un)published papers. In addition, we have created a unified system, which not only stores published works, but also enclosed artifacts. We are also quite pleased that our company had a hand in the development of science and progress.

Team: 1 PM, 1 Solution Architect, 1 BA, 3 Python Developers, 1 JS Developer, 1 DevOps + (1 Designer and 1 Front-End Web Developer by request)

Tech: React/Redux, Python (3.6, 2.7), Django 2.0.5, RabbitMQ, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, ElasticSearch, Neo4J, Rancher, Grafana, Docker

Blockchain Part: Truffle, Ganache, MetaMask, Remix, Parity, Hyperledger Sawtooth, Hyperledger Explorer