This article has been published in the Knowlative Blog on the 18th of July, 2018. This is the fourth and last part of a series of articles. Previous articles can be found here: Part 1: What is really “Copyright” anyway?, Part 2: How do you protect an idea? and Part 3: Knowlative and the Scientific Method.
One of the problems in the actual scientific system is a phenomenon called “groupthink” in psychology. The peer review system can have limitations when considering new research coming from outside the consolidated scientific paradigm. Peers might not recognize a new useful technique or idea that might challenge the actual paradigm and therefore react in many different ways: from a simple denial, to more aggressive forms of refusal. This is groupthink and it requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, because the group already has a solution and it is the right one. Groupthink can even produce dehumanizing actions against people outside the group that develop new techniques or ideas.
In kinesiology we are used to hearing affirmations like: “it does not work”, “you’re selling snake oil” or “there is no point in researching it: we know it is not useful” or even worse. They all come from this psychological phenomenon and we should be proud of it: it means that kinesiology is challenging the system of beliefs of the scientific world.
Let’s get back to Knowlative: how do we solve the risk of groupthink in our system?
The success of a scientist is based on the number of publications he/she manages to develop in his/her career. Many universities in Europe use this system to hire professors or other professionals. As we just saw, this system is inefficient: it creates groupthink issues and moreover it does not put value on the quality of research. Of course, the scientific world has some counterbalance systems, but at the ground floor it does not always work.
Knowlative is open to every idea. We created the system to develop new knowledge and to help find the most effective techniques for our practice. We want quality and we want innovation. So, what systems do we put into place to achieve these high goals?
In these first months of operation we opted for a classical way of checking the system. A Publishing Committee (see Publishing Rules) is active to evaluate the knowledge in the platform and to check that the language as well as the contents are aligned with the basic ideas of our system. The Scientific Committee can be affected by the groupthink issue described before and therefore it is not an answer in the long run. It is a necessary tool for the first period to keep the quality high.
Soon we will launch the ability to add and edit the material in our platform. At that moment we cannot expect to be able to review all the material that professionals are going to put in the system and we cannot possibly organize a Scientific Committee that includes all the different schools and theories in the kinesiology world. Therefore, the Committee is going to have the responsibility to check that the material added is compliant with the formal rules of the platform; with the help of a “signal an abuse” button, the Committee is also responsible for settling eventual issues that might arise in the platform. Last but not least, during this phase, an open blog is going to be usable: everyone that has access to the platform is going to be able to comment, give suggestions or modify any of the content available. For us, this is the key essence of the peer review system: every peer can and should help the community grow and make knowledge more efficient and solid. It is the best way to know if a technique works, or if it is not usable, moreover, the Community can help us give the right attribution and credits to authors and developers.
In the last few months, we discovered a new possibility to avoid groupthink and make the system more efficient. Consequently, now we have a dream: to be able to organize and implement a blockchain system that makes the Scientific Committee obsolete. A blockchain system is capable of giving full power to the Community, maintaining efficiency and quality. Right now, it is still a dream, but we are sure that with time we are going to succeed.
The actual Scientific Paradigm has created another big bottleneck to innovation: it is the authors-editors system. If you are a scientist and you would like to publish your work in one of the main periodicals in order to get academic credit, you need to give to the editing company full copyright over your work. It means that you cannot use your work as it is your own, and all the economic advantage to use it goes directly to the Editor. Sometimes the Editor asks for a fee to publish your innovation.
As you can see, it is a one sided operation: the Editor can decide to publish your work or not, it can get the economic advantage of your work, sell it if it likes or simply put it in a storehouse and forget it. And even if your work is worthy, you need to work hard to get the money to be able to publish it.
What does Knowlative foresee in its activities?
We want the author of a technique to get full credit for the innovation it brings to the community, both economically and academically. Therefore Knowlative chose to let any author in the platform to be able to publish any knowledge he likes, without limitation. As an Editor of information, we do not apply any filter to the knowledge inserted in the platform, as long as it is aligned with the Knowlative Rules.
While quality of the information is checked by the community through the available blog, Knowlative decided to implement a different system to guarantee an economical return to all the knowledge that is effective for the community. As already expressed multiple times, part of our revenues goes back to the authors, through a series of parameters that prize the most used techniques and therefore the most effective knowledge.
Knowlative does not make the authors pay to publish their knowledge, and instead rewards them for the contribution they give to the community.
Then we decided to expand this idea a little further. Everyone that contributes is going to be rewarded: if you translate the content into a different language, if you insert new techniques on behalf of someone else, if you modify and innovate based on a technique already existing in the platform, you are going to get a share.
Everyone involved is important to us: we believe that Collaborative Knowledge is possible only if we share the benefits. And we do share the benefits.