Subhashini Sivagnanam, a researcher and software architect with the Data Enabled Scientific Computing division at the San Diego Supercomputing Center, won $818,433 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the Open Science Chain (OSC), a proposed distributed ledger which will help researchers efficiently access and verify data collected through scientific experiments, according to the NSF’s website.
NSF, a long-standing scientific organization, serves as a key conduit for research initiatives in the U.S. to tap federal resources. The government organization has funded a number of blockchain projects in previous years, including those focused on different aspects of cryptocurrency incentive mechanisms and blockchain technology use cases.
Public records show that the project entails “a web-based cyberinfrastructure platform built using distributed ledger technologies that allows researchers to provide metadata and verification information about their scientific datasets and update this information as the datasets change and evolve over time in an auditable manner.”
Simply put, the network would constitute a living – and digital – catalog of their work, growing as more information is developed and added. Researchers will be able to better trust the data they are examining, according to the abstract.
The grant will begin on Sept. 1, 2018, and carry through until Aug. 31, 2021, according to the award letter.