Today`s publications lack of the possibility to be extended by others after being published. A data base paper could for example benefit when contributors would gain authorship by opening data with a meta description.
Blockchain is a technology which offers the inheritance of documents. Each block can be seen as a single owner.
In case of scientific publications that means:
- Paper x00 is written by x.
- Paper x00 is taken by z and extended to xz0.
- Paper x00 is taken by y and extended to xy0.
- Paper xz0 is liked most by q and extended to xzq. q finds the advanced paper xz0 better than xy0 or the original x00.
There would be no merge options (xy0 and xz0 are merged to xyz), but fields within science would develop interesting publication trees over time with self pruning capabilities. Most useful contributions will inherit, none useful extensions will "die out". You can still cite other sources.
I worked as an informatician in the barely digitized field of forestry and found myself citing a technology called optimization developed in the 50`s. Specifically the "Downhill Simplex" method developed by two authors Nelder and Mead. I also know that only the basic principle of the algorithm is used in today's libraries. Details have been changed. Multiple thousands of method clones exists published over half a century. The implementation I rely on differs from the original published one. I always wondered who contributed most over the decades. Might have been a lot of scientists who made advances on the algorithm which others did rely on. But I do now know.
What benefits and what negative effects would such an application have I do not think of? Energy costs could be another issue which I cannot quantify.
To clarify, the benefit I see is the expandable authorship.