Scientific integrity has been under attack in a way nobody would have predicted just a few years ago. Entire studies removed from government websites, credentials called into question, and the refusal to acknowledge that certain research exists.
What it does
Sledger creates a permanently distributed ledger of peer reviewed scientific studies. Studies are posted to the ledger by accredited contributors, and are open to peer review. Once they're peer reviewed, the reviews are posted to the ledger and sent to the original contributor to approve the peer review. When these transactions have been met, the study is considered validated (or invalidated, based on peer review), and is listed in a searchable interface that can never be destroyed.
How we built it
We created 3 contracts:
- One to handle new studies being posted to the ledger
- One to handle peer reviews of those studies
- One to handle approving peer reviews
From here, we built a Web3.js API which integrated with our React interface to created a simple way for users to read studies and write to the ledger.
Challenges we ran into
We're extremely new to programming on the Ethereum platform, so everything involving Solidity, Web3, building test chains, and ultimately building a sidechain, are all very unfamiliar to us. A lot of our time over the past few weeks was spent studying up, and we still had a lot of learning to do once we got started.
We really never ended up getting our API working correctly, so we'll continue to build that after ETHDenver. We think that this is an incredibly useful product for the scientific community.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were really proud of being able to successfully post to the blockchain (little wins!), how simple our user interface turned out, and that we were able to integrate all of the Ethereum environments successfully
What we learned
We need to learn a lot more about integrating contracts to a UI with Web3.js. There are also a lot syntax concepts about solidity that we still struggle with occasionally. We're excited to have jumped into the deep end and continue to develop for the Ethereum platform
What's next for Sledger
We're going to hook up our API, build out our contracts, work out distributed data storage for these large rich documents, and verify that we're collecting all the necessary data we need to make this as beneficial as possible for the community.