BISE Student: Open Access Publication Platform for Student Dissertations
Ali Sunyaev, Benjamin Sturm
BISE Student provides an innovative open access platform for publishing excellent student theses, like Bachelor, Master, and Diploma theses. Each year, approximately 500,000 student theses are written in Germany alone (Federal Statistical Office of Germany, 2020). Typically, after a thesis has been handed in and graded, it simply disappears into a non-public university archive or desk drawer, never to be seen again. However, many of these theses are being carried out with great thoroughness and produce results of high practical and scientific value for other students, researchers, and practitioners. Yet, resources are lacked to support the traditional publication route for all student theses and recruiting reviewers for extensive student theses is difficult. Following the open knowledge idea, which is to allow anyone to freely access, use, modify, and share knowledge, BISE Student makes the publication of excellent student theses much easier for students and provides an open and highly visible platform revealing the real worth of Bachelor, Master, and Diploma theses.
It utilizes the innovative potential of distributed ledger technology to archive the system’s three primary design goals: ease-of-use, openness, and content excellence. The only centralized component of the system is a web platform providing a user-friendly submission process and easy access to the theses library.
Submission is initiated by the theses’ authors via a simple web form. During the following process, the system requests approval by the examiner and/or supervisor(s) that graded the respective thesis, to ensure the work’s excellence and methodological rigor. Once the examiner and or supervisor(s) cryptographically vouched for a thesis’s quality and the editorial team approved the completeness of the submission process, the thesis is immediately published in the freely accessible theses library. After publication, theses can gather additional endorsements by readers that are convinced by the quality of the theses.
The entire submission process is transparently documented and safe-guarded by the bloxberg blockchain. By building on the bloxberg blockchain, BISE Student ensures transparency, robustness, and reliability of its submission process as well as immutability and integrity of the submitted theses. In order to create a truly open publication platform, BISE Student stores the theses and, with an future update, accompanying research data (e.g., interview transcripts, statistical data, program code) using a public decentralized storage solution – the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). IPFS is an autonomous peer-to-peer network for storing and sharing data. As opposed to a centrally located server, IPFS is built around a decentralized system of user-operated storage nodes which hold a portion of the overall data, creating a resilient and open system of file storage and sharing.
In combination with the simplified submission process and its immutable, transparent documentation on the bloxberg blockchain, BISE Student is the first truly open publication platform for theses that provides unrestricted access, reliability, and high visibility. By that, it incentivizes students to publish their theses, makes the students’ created knowledge more available and visible and facilitate reuse and extension of the created knowledge.
Visit BISE Student: https://bise-student.io