While blockchain might be a good solution for certain (future?) applications in research, experiments, and data collection – it is hard to shine a lot of light on it right now, as the technology is pretty new. And research techniques, scientific methodology, experiment design, and, most importantly, ethical standards have been (and will be) developed for centuries.
Most importantly, a lot of interaction between scientists is (and should be) based on trust and an assumption of good intentions.
This particular question focuses on researcher bias; however, the example is more about data manipulation or "forced outcome" research.
- As correctly mentioned in the comments (@AzorAhai), it is rare to forge the raw data itself, but use certain statistical techniques to get to the desired outcome.
- Using blockchain would have to be introduced on a lot of levels: not necessarily just the surveys. Blockchain for measurement equipment (which constitutes a lot of experimental data in natural sciences) is not yet there. And if one allows a researcher (how crazy is that!) to upload measurement data himself to blockchain-based storage – nothing prevents the researcher from forging data before uploading it.
- Not being able to change the data might not always be a good thing. Sometimes, you have to change it (simple use – delete certain entries) due to technical (it was found that the equipment was broken) or ethical reasons. Here the "permanency" advantage of blockchain might actually be damaging. For example, even git (version-control system not allowing commit change without the change of the signature) has some widely discussed issues: ACCU talk of Alex Chan, the particular segment on GIT and personal info issues.
So, regarding the experiment data, I currently do not see the advantages of using blockchain anywhere in the research loop.
I can see some potential use of blockchain in:
- review process (though, I would say it's an overkill) to anonymize authors/reviewers/editors. However, there are other simpler tools to solve it – and even they are rarely used in practice.
- authorship proof – still there are other tools.
I am very interested to see practical uses of blockchain in other areas (let's see where the smart contracts go in 5-10 years). Academia and research process does not scream for blockchain and its usability is totally unclear and hard to implement.