What is it about?

PhD Research Project
PeerMiles is a research project that focuses on recognising the reviewing records of researchers in a decentralised way. The research involves the investigation of three interrelated factors, namely the peer-reviewing process, reviewers and decentralisation. The investigation of different aspects of the reviewing process involves looking into how a review is perceived by different entities of academia, for example, authors, reviewers, editors etc. The investigation would also look into how a Program Committee of a research event finds and select reviewers, and how PeerMiles could improve this sub-process of finding and selecting reviewers. Another aspect would be looking into the accumulation of the reviewing-contributions of researchers.

As a 3rd year PhD student, I would be conducting this research and investigating the following research questions.

Research Questions

An overview of research questions for the project

What is a review?

  • What elements of information should make up the effort in reviewing?
  • What elements of information are missing at the moment?
  • Are these elements independent of variations in the reviewing process?

What is the quality of a review?

  • What elements of information should make up the quality of a review?
  • What criteria should be followed to measure the quality of a review?

What methods are adopted to record reviewing efforts?

  • Who maintains the reviewing records of a researcher(s)?
  • How are reviewing efforts accumulated across multiple journals/conferences/workshops?
  • How/Where do reviewing efforts get stored?

How do researchers' reviewing efforts get recognition?

  • Do researchers get recognition for their reviewing efforts?
  • How would researchers want to get recognised for their reviewing efforts?

What methods are adopted to trust researchers' reviewing contributions?

  • Do PC-Chairs trust the reviewing-contributions of researchers?
  • Is the trust-factor important for the reviewing process?

How to find a
suitable reviewer?

  • What tools are available to find reviewers?
  • Who should be a suitable reviewer?

What methods are adopted to verify reviewing records?

  • How do the reviewing contributions of reviewers get verified?
  • What tools are available to verify reviewers?
  • What tools are missing?

How could decentralised technology help in addressing the issues?

  • What impact could it have on the reviewing process?
  • What impact could it have on researchers?
  • What impact could it have on journals/conferences/workshops?


My PhD started in October 2017.

  • 2017

    Started my PhD,

  • 2018

    First version of the pilot software that stored and retrieved reviews information from the blockchain deployed at internal network.

  • 2019

    Second version of the pilot software using:
    Database for local storage: MongoDB
    Blockchain for transactions: Ethereum
    Login for researchers: ORCID
    Login for conferences: Solid

  • 2020

    Carrying out research studies (involving semi-structured interviews).

Proposed framework

Three components


HTML, Javascript. Details.


Node.js, MongoDB, ExpressJS Details.


Ethereum, Web3.js. Details.

Possible Research Outcomes

Perception of different aspects of the peer-reviewing process.
Elements (factors) required to constitute a reviewing contribution.
Recording and accumulation of reviewing contributions of researchers across multiple research events.
Recognition of reviewing contributions of researchers in the form of immutable lifelong data.
A tool to find and select reviewers for research events.
A transparent way of incentivising reviewers for their reviewing contributions.


  • Zeeshan Jan

    PhD Student

    I am a PhD student, focusing on the academic peer-reviewing process, and how decentralised technologies can add value to the process.

  • Prof. John Domingue


    I'm KMi's Director and my main interest currently is how we can handle personal data in the future in a decentralised manner. We are developing an approach, which we call LinkChains, to support the above which combines blockchain and Linked Data technologies. One main application area for the work is micro-accreditation and student learning records.

  • Dr. Allan Third


    I'm interested in the use of semantic technologies and natural language semantics and generation to improve both intelligent systems and services, and human interactions with them. The Semantic Web and Linked Data platforms offer a great opportunity for standards-based applications to a wide variety of domains, and I have a particular interest in using such approaches to improve patient experience and care.

    My background is in formal semantics and philosophy, and I am interested in the use of practical computing applications to feed back into theoretical advances, and vice versa.

  • Michelle Bachler

    Research & Innovation Software Manager

    Software developer working primarily on collective intelligence, knowledge mapping, and blockchain technologies.

Events that we are looking into

Want to join the round?