Open access publishing platform using the blockchain technology with Kade Morton

In this episode, we interviewed Kade Morton, the founder of Aletheia, to learn more about the project. Aletheia is a decentralised open access publishing platform for scientific research, the project aims at fixing several issues with the current publishing system in research by introducing a new technology, decentralization through a blockchain network, to the publishing field.

After introducing himself, Kade explained what blockchain and decentralization are and how Aletheia platform aims to implement these technologies in their open source publishing platform.
Kade also explained how he came to work on such a project: after watching the famous documentary about Aaron Swartz online, Kade felt inspired to start developing the Aletheia project. So far, there are three people working on Aletheia as the core team: Kade Morton (co-founder), Roo (developer/co-founder), Lisa Matthias (social media manager). It is an open source project and the team is currently looking for volunteers in different fields such as developers, web designers, etc. If you'd like to contribute, please find their contact information are below.

Bonus: Praxis
Aletheia Contact Information:

Twitter: @aletheia_f

Highly recommended by Kade, Kambiz and Ilyass, please take some time to watch the Aaron Swartz Documentary Movie, FREE

Free software and science : Why software licences matter for scientists

In this episode we interviewed David Brassard and Patrick Diehl about the importance of software licences for the scientific community. Patrick was also part of episode 3 which was also about open source software in research. In this episode, Patrick and Ilyass are hosting the conversation which is more focused about licenses in software, the difference between open source and free (or libre) software and their impacts on a researcher's work. David is a PhD student at Polytechnique Montreal, his work is focused on chemical engineering and material sciences but he is also very interested in open source and free software.

David actually contacted the Colper Science team following episode 3 to provide remarks and comments about the episode's content. Since David seemed pretty knowledgeable about the subject, we decided to invite him do a follow-up episode with us.

David helped us to understand the difference between libre or free software and open source software. We then talked about which among them is the most interesting for a researcher and why.
In the second part, we focused on licenses and their consequences on our work. We all constantly agree to license agreements when installing software or creating accounts for online services, David and Patrick will explain how these license agreements can sometimes be an issue for a researcher's work. We then explored different kind of licenses allowing a researcher to keep any code he might have developed free.



Lab Scribbles: Real-time open access science

In this episode we interviewed Dr. Rachel Harding, a postdoctoral fellow at the Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto. Rachel’s current work is focused on the structure of huntingtin, a mutated protein in individuals suffering from Huntington’s disease. During the episode we talked about Huntington’s disease, sharing your results on a regular basis on a blog, setting up a blog and the intellectual property issues related to sharing your data in such a way.

An interesting point in this area of research is that not all results are published: positive results only are actually published and reaching a positive result requires a lot of trials and errors. However those trials and errors are often neglected.
Rachel created a blog, called LabScribbles, where she records everything she does in the lab, all her positive results but also trials and errors. Rachel explains this workflow, how it helps her improve her method in the lab, how it helps other researchers, how it helps her exchange with them, and even create a community around her work.

We also explored the intellectual property issues related to the Labscribbles a blog. In Rachel’s case, her funding comes from the Cure for Huntington’s Disease Initiative Foundation, a non-profit biomedical organisation. Depending on your employer and organization, it might be forbidden to share your research in such a way, but Rachel was able to explain, in her opinion, how such intellectual property are not a real issue (in most cases).

Bonus: "Open Access Materials"


Working in the open and using it to do public good with Monica Granados

In this episode we interviewed Monica Granados, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Guelph & Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. Monica explained how she was introduced to open science and how practicing in the open helped her advance her projects. She is developing a mobile app with Jacob Ritchie, a computer science graduate student at the University of Toronto to make fish consumption advisory data more accessible to the public including the indigenous communities of the northern parts of Ontario. If you’d like to to know more about the project or would like to contribute to the app development, click here.

Monica also discussed her recent open access article, Stabilizing mechanisms in a food web with an introduced omnivore. She explains how important it is to share raw data for reproducibility and how working in the open changed the way she prepared, delivered and published her manuscripts.

Working in the open has improved the way Monica does research and now gives workshops to other researchers on how to practice in the open. Monica also shares these and other tutorials through her github repository which can be accessed here.


Monica explains how improv' can help a researcher become a better science communicator.

If you like to know more about Monica and her projects, check out the links below:

Monica Granados: Github; Google Scholar; Twitter; Email;