scikick.org

A non-profit massive online open research and education platform concept connecting citizens with cutting-edge research
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Carlos-Andres Palma
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Education
Berkeley, California
United States
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Help us fund a massive online open research and education platform connecting citizens with scientists and much MORE

I want MORE progress! scikick.org will be the first citizen science and Massive online Open Research and Education (MORE) social platform. It provides an online social network and virtual collaborative space connecting citizens with academic researchers. scikick.org helps make cutting-edge scientific and citizen collaborations easy. It provides users with collaborative, crowdsourcing and continuous crowdfunding tools in order to to co-own, participate in, and sponsor new discoveries, helping achieve more social, economical, science and technology advances than ever imagined.

"We are excited to find out if the world is ready for Massive online Open Research and Education" 

           - Prof. Rhiju Das, Stanford University and co-founder, EteRNA

"Massive online Open Research and Education could help the 250,000 volunteer computing citizen scientists to directly interact with researchers and take part in the process of discovery"

           - Dr. David Anderson, UC Berkeley, BOINC project leader

Rethinking learning, discovery and cutting-edge technology entrepreneurship

The main goal of scikick.org is to facilitate co-ownership and increase the quality and pace of new discoveries, new solutions and new products world wide. You could be a farmer who wants to work with a researcher to create a new vegetable breed. You could be a university professor that needs citizen scientists to interpret scientific data. Or you could sponsor a student from one side of the world so that he or she can work and study with a prestigious researcher. For any cutting-edge knowledge situation, scikick.org provides you and your creative network with easy-to-use and continuous tools to find, fund, manage and communicate during your project collaboration, without a middleman. Ultimately, it will help empower local communities with cutting-edge technology, bridging socioeconomic and education gaps.

Scikick.org is an online platform with three basic components:

  • Research Crowdsourcing

Cutting-edge research is turning to the internet to find human and computer resources and help advance science and technology faster. Researchers need citizen scientists to discover or help find solutions, from the most technically simple task to the most daunting. In the near future, there will be hundreds and thousands of different scientific crowdsourcing projects in the internet. scikick.org works as an online community and account cross-project manager for native or existing third-party crowdsourcing projects. It will be a repository of world-wide projects allowing you to choose, organize, rate, monitor your progress and many more features. A revolutionary feature of scikick.org is that it guarantees that every participant of a crowdsourcing project is also an owner of the project.

  • Continuous Research Crowdfunding

scikick.org allows you to do be a part of day-to-day discovery by creating or participating in a project you want to economically sponsor. Unlike today's crowdfunding, is not something you invest on once for a project you do not own. Unlike charity is not something you invest on monthly and hope is being used in a good way. In scikick.org, you have full control and by participating in a project, you co-own the project in corresponding percentages. Do you want to give $20 a month and sponsor a PhD student on the other side of the world? Sure, she or he is required by scikick.org to send video-log updates of his research as long as your collaboration exists. Do you think a young researcher will become the next Nobel Prize laureate? Donate, he is required to put you as an sponsor co-author in every publication. Do you want to co-own that invention? We'll take that publication and turn it into a patent you can file.

  • Virtual Earth Environment 3D Workspace

Existing social networks work mostly one way. We see them more as social shouting rather than networking. For cutting-edge research however, we need to create a new ergonomic collaborative framework. We asked ourselves: How do we meet new collaborators in a secure and quality environment? Most of the time the answer is conferences, seminars, conventions, dinners and other professional social activities that require us to share the same physical space. To emulate such a rich social space, we had to break the mold and come up with something unprecedented. We created a virtual workplace, a computer desktop that has to be shared by all of our members, called virtual earth environment (VEE). Although you can choose to remain invisible, a 3D workspace (a 3D "desktop") lets you organize your projects beyond historical 2D windows and folders.  Your 3D workspace project's icons (scipods) are connected to your profile-pod and other members by invisible "interest" lines, in the form of a force-driven network algorithm. In the dynamic mode, you have the option of changing the virtual location of the center of your research life closer to scikick.org users who share the same interests with you. Moreover, with our 3D workspace system you can make project networks of project networks and fully collaborative cities, in order to tackle the most intense research and discovery needs.

Using the scikick.org platform: 3 simple steps

Whether you are a a small enterprise, a citizen scientist or a researcher, starting a cutting-edge collaboration at scikick.org needs only three first steps, accessible from the main menu. Once you are part of a project, a 3D icon "scipod" is created on your workspace to manage your collaboration and help you complete your project.  Here is how it works:

And after contributing to the project for the advertised project duration, you will complete it and co-own it!

How to create and contribute to a project: Tasks

Tasks in scikick.org can vary, just like in an offline cooperative network. In scikick.org, you choose your project based on your interests, collaboration preferences, requirements and a task load, determined by hours spent on the project. Indeed, knowing how much time you have to spend on a project is the key towards a successful collaboration. Because of this, the project manager advertises the project with the required task load per week, which shows up in the project search menu. Detailed descriptions, including the total project duration, are given upon clicking and opening the project dialog. The project dialog is nothing more than a summary of a research grant proposal. Finally, the project search menu also allows you to contribute to a project based on your collaboration preferences. For now, scikick.org allows three types of collaboration modes: student, collaborator or investor. Below are examples on how different projects are created and what is required from the collaborators, as shown in the project search menu.

1. A researcher seeks a student to help in the design of new molecules for solar power. The researcher advertises to teach the student how to do this for 1h/week and in return the student contributes with 4h/week of molecular designs. She puts out the following project accepting only student participants to the project:

2. Tilapia farmers in a small community want to invest on developing a novel fertilizer technology out of waste water.  They seek a professor to assign two full-time researchers to this goal. In return, they are ready to invest up to 1000 USD a week. They put the following project description in scikick.org; note how only verified university professors by scikick.org are allowed to apply:   

3. A small robotic business needs to find sponsors for their interns, who are leaving because of paid internships in big corporations. They ask their interns to put the following project menu description searching for investors. In return for a sponsorship, the intern sends 1h/week updates to the sponsors:

Check out the collaboration mode for a student below (video 2a/2) from our pitch video or go to www.scikick.org to try a mock-up of the virtual world, 3D workspace interface!


How to complete a project

Completing a project in a collaborative network is easy. After the total duration of your project (described in the project dialog), scikick.org requires your project network to write an open source publication in order to complete the project (see Features and FAQ section below). When your total task load is achieved, you appear in an open source publication and scikick.org will estimate your equity ownership. In the context of the previous three examples, "completing" a project means that even if no successful molecules, fertilizer or ultralight motors were developed/discovered, scikick.org considers the project a success if a peer-reviewed open source publication is produced. The main goal of scikick.org is to produce new knowledge, which may or may not become an immediate discovery, solution or a product after the estimated project duration. 

Background

At scikick.org we believe that new knowledge finds solutions for mankind's biggest challenges. New, open knowledge, provides a more transparent and participatory way to solve those challenges. New, massive, online and open, cutting-edge knowledge has the power to make socioeconomic and education gaps disappear. New knowledge is, in fact, research. And it makes the world a better place.

Unfortunately, cutting-edge research has not adapted to the new forms of participation and communication the internet enables. Therefore, many still believe is exclusive to a select and small group of highly educated individuals and is not accessible to the average citizen. This belief is contrary to what modern education stands for. Research, the production of new knowledge, is a human right.  (See FAQ, "Can MORE compete with governmental sponsored research?").

scikick.org was founded by young successful researchers, engineers and designers committed to this cause, in close collaboration with many other experienced and young researchers in citizen science and open research. These experienced and young researchers are faced today with four very real challenges, for which scikick.org provides very practical solutions.

Quality and commitment of citizen scientists. Crowdsourcing will become the norm in many fields of research. Soon, hundreds or thousands of research games, volunteer computing projects and online research programs will flood the internet. Besides the distributed nature of these projects through-out the web, every crowdsourced project faces the challenge of deliberate, human errors. There is no current cross-project platform measuring the quality and commitment of citizen scientists. scikick.org will provide one. 

More research jobs per capita. Today, employment in permanent academic positions is extremely low. In the US alone, permanent academic positions are unavailable for more than 60% of young academic researchers (see red line in Fig-1, left). The share of overall permanent and seasonal science workers is also very low: There is about 1 researcher job per 100 of total jobs available (see red line in Fig-1, left). In Europe the share is much lower, only 0.7 researcher jobs per 100 jobs. The situation in Europe evidences that the academic system is not saturated. If anything, we should encourage more people to do academic research. What is limited is academic funding and the interaction of academic researchers with the average citizen. scikick.org can help double (see FAQ section) the number of permanent research funding world wide by making direct, continuous sponsoring of students and academic researchers possible. More permanently funded researchers means a better student-to-teacher ratio, thus, more capacity for new knowledge and entrepreneurship. Altogether scikick.org actively helps academic funding and guarantees that new academic positions will empower small and creative businesses.

Fig-1. Indicators of employment in academia. Adapted from Cyranoski, D. et al., Nature, vol. 472, pg. 278, 2011. Science and Engineering indicators www.oecd.org/sti/msti.html.  

Networking and equal opportunities. Looking at the entire world, we have billions of bright minds waiting for an opportunity to change the world. They need the funding to dedicate themselves to solving research problems online, which are otherwise impossible to solve even for the most accomplished universities. Many young academic researchers we have interviewed need their citizen scientists collaborators to quit their day jobs and join their labs. scikick.org aids finding bright minds and the tools to connect and receive funding from sponsors.

Transparency. What research is being funded? Who is deciding where industrial or governmental funding goes? There is not simple answer for this. scikick.org provides a database of research stubs world-wide, and full project descriptions once the projects are finalized. Our platform's reputation system assures that important details of projects are kept confidential before a project is finalized while keeping funding, participative and research summaries transparent.

scikick.org was founded to provide solutions to these modern challenges and more. There are many more challenges that massive online open research and education tackles - maybe you can spot a few from our TED talk mash-up below.


Other features: A self-regulated online community

While the philosophy of scikick.org is to remove the middleman in any cutting-edge collaborative project and provide the tools to ensure the successful completion of a project, we must likewise guarantee this is done with the highest standard possible. 

scikick.org believes in bringing people together and facilitating, not obstructing progress. scikick.org is a platform where we will constantly work on optimizing human collaborative work, of the highest quality. Below we explain some important features to this end.

Open source

The scikick.org platform will always welcome and give full control and support to third-party scipods (i.e. iframes, apps, etc.) and other crowdsourced projects. These projects may choose to be part of the self-regulated community features or not. scikick.org will always remain a cross-project community platform and database for crowdsourced research, crowdfunded research grants and student sponsorships, among others.

Co-ownership and open source publication

The completion of a project is marked by publication of an open source scientific article. Every advertised amount of time by the project, open source publications must be written by the project managers and/or participants in order to gain reputation at scikick.org. The open source publication also certifies that all participants of the project own the invention, and gain reputation in according percentages.

Reputation and video-logs

The commitment to a project, be it by project managers or participants, is measured by reputation at scikick.org. It is recorded and changes over time. For example, an idle participant displays simultaneously the current low (idle) reputation value and his or her historical all-time high.

Two independent reputation systems will be used, based on achievements (Academic Level AL) and economic or material support (Scipoints SP). The Academic Level features different sub-fields with global and local levels. The global value in any sub-field is meant to rate the commitment of the scikick.org member. The values of the different subfields can be set as requirements to participate in new projects.  The local values are used to rate your contribution, and will be used to calculate equity ownership once the project is completed.

Global reputation levels increase only upon completion of a project. It is dynamically linked to your contribution in an open-source publications or as video-logs arising from a project once it has been completed. Upon completion, reputation in scikick.org can be dynamically increased by rating or "liking" open source publications and video-logs which have been made public. Sounds familiar? Yes, it is research in the dawn of the internet. Moreover, it is the reputation of the "liker" what matters for increasing your dynamic scikick.org reputation. Is quality over quantity.


scikick.org will make use of complex algorithms to make cooperation between citizens, scientists and small business owners easy. Our endeavor is to make committed people find each other, so that you can focus on what matters. This is a grand task governments have spent billions and many years trying to achieve. We just know you internets can do it. 


FAQ

I read everything in here, went to www.scikick.org and still do not understand what scikick.org will be. scikick.org connects citizens with researchers with industry. Once the connection is made, it  ensures the final completion and co-ownership of the intended invention, discovery, solution, product or technology. It does it in a massive participative, online, transparent and open manner. Hence Massive Online open Research and Education, MORE.

Is scikick.org just a mash-up of scientific crowdfunding and crowdsourcing websites? No. Massive online Open Research and Education, i.e. scikick.org, does not compete but rather complements existing online research efforts. In the same way wikipedia.org endeavors to provide a compendium of knowledge around the world, scikick.org will provide a compendium of real-time cutting-edge research and development around the world, the tools to make it massively participative and guidelines to make it effectively collaborative. We want to see more progress and equality out there and believe that every scipod (the project icons, see Usage section above) should be open source, allowing (existing) third-party scientific crowdfunding and crowdsourcing efforts to integrate with scikick.org.

Is scikick.org a game? No. It just has a game-like interface, which we call a 3D workspace. The icons (aka scipods) in your 3D workspace may link directly to third-party crowdsourced research gaming, just as an icon in your PC desktop would link to a program. The difference is that icons in the 3D work space are customizable and interactive, reporting directly your research status, progress, reputation, etc.

Why would something as serious as scikick.org have a game-like "3D work space" interface? The 3D work space is a revolutionary interface designed to form collaborative networks. We believe it has the potential to supplant the old operating system 2D desktop model and the html stream model. The icons (aka scipods) are open source, custom made and may even serve as real-world architectonic designs. The virtual earth environment (VEE) is shared by every user of scikick.org and can be visible or invisible to other members. When visible, it provides a natural collaborative environment: You may be moved or choose to move your 3D work space next to (potential) collaborators, share scipods, see the project progress directly from their workspace, etc. The VEE is also meant to emulate and ideal desktop environment: Its landscape is just a customizable 3D wallpaper and it can be panned and translated to allow for a superior element organization interface.

Can I change the virtual earth 3D workspace appearance?
Yes, the virtual earth landscape would be a fully customizable 3D wallpaper in the scikick.org virtual earth work space.

Can Massive online Open Research really compete with billions of governmental funding? Absolutely, but rather than compete, it has the potential to strengthen it. Governmental research is after all, tax payer research. And most research funding goes to salaries. In the US, the government gives 1 research job out of 100 jobs (see Background section). For $20 month, you together with a network of 100, can help raise this number by two. This means that 1 out of 100 working citizens could be working to find cutting-edge solutions for what you, as a network, think matters. Your network's sponsee will report directly to you, without additional costs nor intermediates. For only $20 a month, this has the potential to duplicate the number of researchers in the US, and  could potentially also bring the number of researchers anywhere in the planet to US research standards.

Do you believe any citizen scientist can perform cutting-edge research? We know they can. At any level. Besides the success stories already online (e.g. fold.it, eternagame.org) at the Technical University of Munich our 3rd year University students perform a 4th month research project. These students work as good as a PhD candidate and sometimes publish research much faster. The secret? Anyone can learn in 1 h hour from the author, the contents of his or her 24 hour-to-read book. At scikick.org, we have a self-regulating reputation system that allows our members to choose their collaborators based on commitment, not on formal education.

Where will scikick.org research be carried out? Research can be online or physical in a local or remote research institution. When research needs a physical location, we will both verify that the institution is certified by your local authorities to conduct research and by agreeing to scikick.org terms, you also verify that you are aware of this.

Do you think any citizen scientist can do sensible research? scikick.org is meant as the online research community of the future, helping and complementing existing research and high education institutions. Any sensible research should be performed in  institutions certified by your local government. You should also follow your local authorities guidelines over sharing sensible information online. In this respect, scikick.org is no different from the internet.

Will research institutions really adhere to the scikick.org co-ownership principle? Technically, yes. Established research institutions have different legal systems to protect any inventions, discoveries, products, etc. performed with their facilities. Our experience is that institutions with the strongest legal systems are also the most entrepreneurial institutions. In this regard, we will work with such institutions to guarantee that the scikick.org principle of fair co-ownership is safe kept. For many cases with the proper legal support, an open source publication and a patent application disclosing the different ownerships calculated by scikick.org, is more than enough as a legally binding document.

I want to do a novel art or music project, is scikick.org also for me? We believe there are better online platforms for non cutting-edge research, but in principle every new knowledge which requires collaborative networking and can be shared between hundreds or thousands of participants is for scikick.org. As long as you write it down and publish it at least at one stage of your project with the names of every participant. At scikick.org we believe that a network is successful when the names of the collaborators and their work is written down and rated by scikick.org members. Anything else coming out of the collaboration, just adds to its success.  Because reputation is based on collaborative networking, we expect that projects that are not very collaborative will naturally gain less reputation.

I want to start a top-secret research project as a project manager. No problem. You still have to put a project description that is good enough to attract students, collaborators, investors and to enter the scikick.org transparent research database. If the project is advertised as confidential (default), everyone joining is bound to keep it confidential or risk losing their online reputation and other fail-safe status. Afterwards, you should publish your top-secret research in an open source journal if you wish to gain reputation at scikick.org.

As a project manager, can I pre-screen the participants of my (top-secret) project? No. It is our job to make sure that you get exactly the collaborators, investors, students you need and are looking for in your project description and ensure their quality through the scikick.org reputation system and other tools. It is your job to work with everyone that is allowed by your advertised requirements of the scikick.org reputation system to join the project, as long as there are still openings. That is why is massive. And open. Although is not the aim of scikick.org to work with pre-existing networks, you could still try a workaround by launching a new project and informing your colleagues simultaneously. We promised to make this open and self-regulated for you and we will keep it that way.

Because I cannot pre-screen participants as a project manager, the project was never very collaborative and could not be completed/published. Do I lose my reputation? No. The only way you lose reputation is if you fail to perform your part of the advertised tasks in a project. If you contributed but your collaborators did not, they lose their reputation, not you. If you wanted to stop contributing to the project and create or join a new one, you could choose to become an idle participant (see below). You can setup another better project description and requirements and "recycle" your video-logs and project information you gave to students, collaborators or investors. That is the power of the internet. 

I joined or started a project which I want to leave. Only if all the project's participants agree to cancelling the project, can the project be cancelled. Otherwise you can choose to become an idle participant for the rest of the duration of the project. Idle participants must declare they are no longer active, must return any funding and do not benefit from project updates nor global reputation increase upon completion of the project. They are still bound to comply with the project's confidentiality principles.

When will scikick.org be fully functional? With a successful campaign we expect scikick.org to be beta functional in 36 months. But do not despair, every campaign contributor will have early access to the beta version and we will keep you updated with lots of news, social and scientific events. Have we mentioned that we are all about networking?

As academic researchers, why are you crowdfunding scikick.org instead of applying to NSF grants 14-526, 14-541, 14-520, etc. or similar Horizon 2020 ICT grants? One of the goals of scikick.org is to steer the current (governmental) grant system into modernization, i.e. online databases, massive participation and transparency (see Background section above). You can help send this message!  Tell your local government that you want MORE involvement in science and technology, you want to know MORE about what is being done for your local community, you want Massive online Open Research. Tweet #iwantMORE!. 

What am I paying for? You are collecting funds for two, 3-year part-time software engineering contracts, both with the possibility of defending a PhD at the end of the contract (with some overheads). And we are hiring! Think of someone who is perfect for the job? Let us know!  Email your cover letter with your CV at scikick at scikick.org. 

I love what you are doing, how can I help?  Thank you! if you cannot contribute to our fundraiser you could just go to www.twitter.com and tweet "I want Massive Online open Research, #iwantMORE". You will be surprised how much the internets can achieve together.

I want MORE non-profit massive online open research and education for technology and social change!

scikick.org offers a holistic and complementary approach to current efforts in citizen science. We know the internet and self-regulated algorithms can make researchers and individuals collaborate and create. Because collaboration and networking are our motto and at the very heart of social change, you can support more focused and specialized efforts in citizen science below. It is simple, by supporting more non-profit open cutting-edge knowledge without intermediaries, you help create a better world.

https://quanta.asu.edu/ "Quanta allows high school students to participate in cutting-edge university research"
http://www.gridrepublic.org/ "GridRepublic plugs you into a novel form of digital philanthropy: Volunteer Computing"
http://www.citizencyberscience.net/ "Develops open source tools and projects for citizen cyberscience"
http://www.crowdcurio.com/ "A crowdsourcing platform that connects interested citizens with researchers"



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  • $10USD
    #iwantMORE

    Congrats! You just contributed to democratize education toward creating the open entrepreneurial university of the 21st century. You have helped mark the internet with echoes of massive online open research and education. The internet winds will carry your message of support from blogs and newspapers to policy makers. And if they do not thank you enough, we will remind them to. Thank you.

    1 out of 10000 claimed
  • $25USD
    Citizen Scientist

    You inspired and are the matter scikick.org is build on. Therefore we offer you the same: The scikick.org interface will feature your name engraved in the virtual environment that will serve as the platform's 3D workspace. Emulating the same reward system scikick.org will offer projects, this is not a one-time reward, but something that the internet will carry for as long as scikick.org lives. You will receive updates and video-logs on this very first scikick.org project of yours!

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  • $50USD
    Post-Doc

    We are doing this for you! You will also have your name stamped on scikick.org and updates, plus a "crowdfounder" status on your profile in the finalized scikick.org platform and a "I am a Massive online Open Researcher and Educator, I do MORE!"-themed T-shirt. As a crowdfounder of scikick.org, we will send you an official certificate.

    2 out of 1000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $100USD
    Junior Professor

    All of the above plus a hall of fame status at the scikick.org platform. You will receive a full-color honorary doctor title (Dr. rer. Ret.) from scikick.org.

    4 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Idealist

    You have been waiting for something like this for a long time and wondered how to connect experts with motivated individuals all over the world. For free of course. We will do this for you. Almost for free. You will receive all of the above rewards plus we will arrange a $500-worth travel for you to any university near the scikick.org headquarters. We will talk to world experts, witness experiments and guide you through the state-of-the-art in any research or technological topic of your choice.

    1 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $2,000USD
    Citizen Professor

    You will be appointed as a non-profit, nonequity consulting partner for life and a distinguished professor at scikick.org. You will be informed about scikick.org activities, consulted and rewarded. You will receive of course the previous rewards.

    4 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $29,000USD
    Sponsor a student!

    You can choose and appoint a student to work at scikick.org and receive a PhD. You are the co-owner of every discovery they make during their employment at the scikick.org headquarters - In line with what a project launched with the scikick.org platform would offer. Safe for the scikick.org platform, be it a code, network protocol, etc., you will co-own anything your students create during one year working for scikick.org. Your sponsee will send you weekly video-logs.

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  • $100,000USD
    Non-profit Partner

    Are you interested in establishing the first truly open, universal and entrepreneurial university of the 21st century? So are we. Contact us for more information on this donation.

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