Peer-review on a Decentralised Web

Jan, Zeeshan (2022). Peer-review on a Decentralised Web. PhD thesis The Open University.



Peer review is an evolving process that typically validates the originality and quality of research outcomes. The process holds a vital position in academic research communities to prevent invalid and inaccurate work from being published. With all its benefits, it has been under continuous criticism for its shortcomings and inability to address the issues adequately, like preventing fraudulent and impostor reviewers from becoming a formal part of the process. Therefore, the research communities usually need help finding appropriate and suitable reviewers for their research events. To assess the suitability of a reviewer for a specific research event, the research event management team (Chairs, Organising Committee) analyses certain aspects of a researcher's profile before inviting them to participate in the reviewing process.

This thesis investigates the aspects the research event management considers before inviting researchers for peer review. The unavailability of information about how a researcher has performed as a reviewer makes it more challenging for event management. In case such information reaches the event management, it becomes difficult to establish trust in that information. The thesis also investigates the acknowledgement and incentives researchers receive for participating in the reviewing process.

A framework based upon decentralised and distributed technologies is presented in the thesis to address these peer review issues. The framework involves using blockchain technology that enables the accumulation of the reviewing records of researchers from multiple research events. It also helps establish trust in the reviewing records and devise a mechanism to incentivise reviewers transparently.

Two research studies in the thesis involve recording and analysing researchers' viewpoints on different peer review perspectives and practices. The results of these research studies demonstrate the positive impact of using decentralised and distributed technologies for accumulating the reviewing records of researchers across multiple research events and incentivising reviewers.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions