The Collective Science Platform

    Science with collective intelligence and community governance

Contact: Dr. Michael Bon (michael@sjscience.org)

The Collective Science Platform (CoScience) is a free, open, multidisciplinary scholarly commons.

It features three unique services that can be used independently :
  • A free and fully automated upload process that interfaces scientific communications for a proper debate
  • An individual tool to curate and annotate scientific items into topical, structured and reader-friendly collections. They are primarily meant for scholars to disseminate their vision of science and they can accomodate other useful usages.
  • An interactive and collectively managed semantic web that brings new ways to explore and watch science.
The integration of these three services on CoScience creates a bigger picture that is detailed here and here.

CoScience is operated by 'Science Collective', a non-profit, general interest association which welcomes all scholars. Science Collective is based in France. Follow this link to download Science Collective's bylaws.

Collective intelligence

CoScience understands science as an individual and collective ethics aiming at building up reliable knowledge on the topics it studies.
The principled process of science pursued by CoScience is:

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Collective intelligence naturally builds up in scientific debates and in the exchange of visions. CoScience offers an appropriate, modern implementation for both.

Moreover, since these two processes relies on participation, there is an important underlying question of organization of science. How can a scholar efficiently find all the materials that interest him/her? CoScience implements the 'Map of Science', a semantic Web also powered by collective intelligence that allows for a new way to explore science.

Scientific debate. CoScience uniquely offers a proper platform for scientific debate as an endless conference around a scientific communication (e.g. an article), aiming at building a community-wide consensus about its validity.

CoScience implements a fully automated upload process that makes a scientific communication interactive. Forums are locally embedded so that authenticated scientists can properly challenge and discuss each of its assertions as long and as deep necessary, on an equalized position, until a consensus holds.

In this approach, a scientific proposition does not consist only of the original intent of the authors : it also includes the debate that validates it and is never separated from it. There is no final decision to be taken (akin to acceptance/rejection in a journal). In this context, the relationship between authors and their contradictors can be positive and collective intelligence can take off. A bone fide, thoughtful controversy is certainly highly interesting for peers, will generate more visibility for the communication, the authors, the reviewers and more will want to participate.

The scientific debate is not to be confused with standard peer review, which is more like a trial. Peer review has a different goal (selection), timeline, attendance and a power relationship between participants that deters disagreement. The output should not be the same.

Vision. CoScience allows scholars to communicate their understanding and vision of science with the so-called ‘self-journal’ tool. A self-journal allows a scholar to curate scientific items into meaningful topical collections with a title, an editorial that highlights his point and specific annotations for each item.

An eco-system of self-journals is a treasure of ‘easier-access’ meta-analyses ot the literature that substantiates all point of views available in the community. This gives rise to a highly qualitative collective vision, primarily through the specific scientific items that are curated the most by the community.

Organizing, watching and browsing science. CoScience implements ‘the Map of Science’, an interactive semantic web for science. It is meant to include all keywords of science and to logically interconnect them with two types of links : a ‘narrower concept’ link (e.g. Physics → Quantum physics) and a ‘related concept’ link (e.g. ‘Virus disassembly’ in biology and ‘Percolation theory’ in physics) that materializes bridges between historically separated fields.

The Map of Science grows through consensual addition of keywords and links by scholars. Authors can then accurately label their communications with this consensual vocabulary. In turn, readers can be certain to find unambiguously and exhaustively all available materials on topics they are interested in.

Science becomes browsable, with interdisciplinary connections being highlighted. This object can bring new useful usages in the way to percieve the scientific activity.

Community governance

CoScience decorrelates scientific governance (i.e. governance of the contents) from technical governance (i.e. governance of the container). Each has its own community governance model.

Scientific governance. Scientific contents are openly and collectively governed by CoScience users, who have complete autonomy to assess the validity of scientific communications through debate, to assess their importance through self-journals and to organize science through the Map of Science.

There is no gatekeeping process on CoScience and scholars can share whatever they consider fit for scientific debate as long as they sign it.

Although ideally no content should be taken down, law requests such a mechanism. Therefore, upon signalling, fraudulous content will be removed by the webmasters of CoScience (e.g. content uploaded by other than its legal owner or pornographic images). This is the only aspect of scientific governance which is not in the hands of CoScience users.

Technical governance. The precise model of collective technical governance has yet to be decided.
The model is debated and discussed within the association ‘Science Collective’, whose membership is open to all (e.g. you). The goal is to design an efficient model of development and decision making that would ensure that CoScience can always evolve and adapt to the multiple needs of the community in reasonable time. So far, keywords are ‘open source’, ‘democracy’ and also ‘blockchain’. All interested scholars are more than welcome to join Science Collective, take part on this important conversation and collectively exert technical control over CoScience.

Benefits for scholars

On an abstract note, CoScience uniquely gives scholars back the autonomy (along with responsibility) to operate in the three dimensions of science : the research, the debate and the vision. Put to good use (as incentivized by CoScience), it means scholars have the power to guide science in the way they want, the freedom to express their value to its full extent and shine as an expert regardless of their position. We consider this is objectively in the interest of the vast majority of scholars. It constitutes a long-term reason why they may want to start sharing their value on CoScience and help standardizing it.

On a more practical term, CoScience does not interfere with the current publishing system and can be used in parallel. Users remain the owners of every content they share and thus can freely enjoy benefits as researchers, as reviewers and as visionaries.

As a researcher, CoScience gives you the freedom to share any scientific communication you are ready to defend in an open scientific debate. The only condition is that you authenticate with your real name (your reviewers will do the same).

There are in particular no constraints on the topics, the type of results (e.g. it can be negative results) and the format (e.g. not necessarily an IMRaD article). Your communication will be debated by the community for science sake, out of e.g. any considerations of final acceptance/rejection which inhibit discussions in the context of a journal. Beyond the inherent relevance of a debate science-wise, there is a genuine pleasure in it, both for the author and for the reviewer. Moreover, it will allow to gather a helpful feedback that may improve your odds to later pass the peer review of a journal (in case you shared a pre-print).

As a reviewer, you can freely debate and discuss materials that have been uploaded on CoScience, without the need of a pre-approval by a scientific authority. The only condition is that you authenticate with your real name.

Beyond the obvious benefits of a debate science-wise, relevantly engaging into it is a golden self-promoting operation. First, regardless of your position, every article in your field is a playground for you to publicly shine and be recognized as an expert. Second, it is a great networking opportunity. A relevant and thoughtful feedback, even in a critical form, is a service and a pleasure for the authors. Openly providing it creates a good connection with the authors on a competence basis that might prove useful later, at the very least when you will upload something yourself but also in other aspects of the real-world competition in academia.

As a visionary, you can use your self-journal to release structured and annotated collections of items available on the Web (including your own research). Your self-journal allows you to communicate and substantiate your understanding of the topics you chose to cover and influence the way they develop.

A thoughtful self-journal is a great service to its readers as an ‘easier access’ expert guide to make sense of the complexity of the scientific production. The current system does not really provide very well for this demand.

In return, your self-journal is yet another means to shine as an expert and an appropriate channel for self-promotion and visibility.

Benefits for science

A virtuous economy of knowledge. We want first to stress the idea that a massive adoption of CoScience has the unique and highly desirable potential to turn the economy of knowledge right in the long-term and escape once and for all the 'publish-or-perish' era. This idea is developed at length in this article that you are welcome to debate.

In the current system of reward based on publication in high impact factor journals, journal editors are the actual creators of scientific value. Moreover, the most rewarding publication slots are rare. Then scientists have to artificially turn against each other to gain access to them. This competition impedes collective intelligence, since peers are also competitors, which is detrimental to science.

In CoScience, a good article is one which is stated as such by scholars. It means that scholars are the actual creators of value. In CoScience, endowing value to a scientific item (i.e. stating that you think it is valid or important) does not deprive any other item of the value it deserves. Moreover, relations between scholars are reciprocal since eveybody is at the same time an author and a reviewer. Then the optimal individual strategy to stand out in this environment is 'do to others what you would have them do to you'. To get maximal personal recognition, the ideal strategy is to care and give others the recognition they deserve. In CoScience, the most rewarding acts are those performed in a spirit of service to the community. It makes CoScience a pleasant place for scholars and science quality can go through the roof.

Effects of collective intelligence. A virtuous deployment of collective intelligence in science has obvious benefits. The quality standards become as high as possible. New great concepts will emerge. Big problems will be solved through joint efforts of the community.

Benefits for scientific institutions

CoScience is open.

Costs. In CoScience, science is at its best when scholars openly take care of everything without intermediates. Then, CoScience operational costs boil down to costs of maintenance and storage, which can be estimated at less than 1$ per item. In other words, assessing the validity and the importance of a scientific article on CoScience (arguably its most critical features) costs 3000+ times less than assessing its impact by the current system.

Multidimensional evaluation. On CoScience, reviewing and envisionning, two essential scientific activities, become accountable. Moreover, these activities are costless, contrary to research. It means that embracing the diversity of new and sound scientific indicators brought by CoScience (per se a good thing) is also in the interest of a majority of scientific institutions. That way they can level the playing field in terms of recognition with the ones that tend to attract most of the funding as of today end enjoy a considerable advantage as for research.

Management of scholars. The evaluation of scientific activity is often a source of conflicts and bitterness for scholars against their institution. Having this evaluation performed collectively by the community is not only sound and legitimate, it also opens the door to a more positive management of scholars (yet to be invented), with internal benefits.

Benefits for society

Open Access. All the well-known benefits of Open Access for society applies to CoScience.

Rebuilding credibility. CoScience goes further and opens a way for science to fully get back its voice in society as an unbiased reference for facts and reason. CoScience acts as a long-term fix for many problems which have gradually undermined science in the eyes of the public, to the point that a scientific argument may be seen as nothing more than an authority argument.
  • The restoration of open scientific debates allows to refute the charge that « official science has an agenda and censors disturbing facts that do not fit the narrative ». Science is currently defenseless against this claim since its gatekeeping processes are indeed authority-driven, closed and unverifiable. This charge is powerful and must be especially dealt with in hot topics like climate change and vaccines.
  • By proposing an alternative to the 'publish-or-perish' mindest, CoScience alleviates a pressure that leads to a number of overstatements, deceptive early announcements and frauds that sometimes make headlines and further hurt the scientific entreprise.
  • It is also important to be aware that the public is not yet well aware of our reproducibility crisis. In some fields, more than half of published results cannot be reproduced, even by their authors. If we do not improve our standards, there is certainly no coming back for the image of science after it becomes well known. Though many factors are involved in the reproducibility crisis, CoScience allows the community to address those which falls within its collective responsibility (like for instance putting an end to its poor '5% p-value' statistical standards).
A direct link with society. Moreover, with self-journals, scholars can do themselves scientific journalism and popularization. Insufficient qualifications of journalists may sometimes convey misleading reports of the body of literature. A reader-friendly self-journal covering a hot topic can be a raw source of information for the layman, who would also appreciate the fact to get it directly from a scholar. Reasonably complex scientific views can then be substantiated and directly disseminated in the general public. This direct link can also have many kudos for the scholars who take time to do it properly.


  • Sign up with a valid institutional e-mail.
  • Keep you own online self-journal. Curate and annotate articles, influence your field by sharing your analysis of the scientific output. Build a reputation through your knowledge and vision. Don't forget to promote your own work.
  • If you have not forfeited or signed away your rights to do so, upload your articles or preprints. Get community feedback to improve them and assess their validity through lively discussions and debates.
  • Openly review and discuss the materials uploaded by your peers and get credit for it. Interact with them in a scientific environment based on relevant critical debate where no one and no ideas are dismissed unthinkingly but the community interacts together to raise the bar.
  • Give expert input into the Map of Science. Add keywords and connections between keywords to map your field in a comprehensive and unambiguous way.