SCRF Terms Glossary and Content Tags

This document details the process and resources for managing the terms and tags that will appear in the forum and their associated definitions.

What is this?

This is a list of terms that represent SCRF’s best and most up-to-date framework for organizing content. Some of these also represent content area tags that are not specific to any particular category of the forum. For all of these terms, the associated definitions and sources are also provided.

How will terms and associated tags be used?

The average SCRF reader will be able to use these terms and tags to search for specific content, filter categories by subtopics and genres, and ‘crawl’ from post to post in the forum by finding related content to what is in a given post by clicking on its tags. This should also give the reader an immediate signal on what a given post is primarily about, improving the reading experience. These terms will also be linked in research summaries that have been posted to the forum.

Note: Researchers generating content for the forum may only select from the previously approved list of tags when submitting work to the forum.

How should I propose a new term? Or edit an existing definition, tag, source, etc?

The source material for the master terms glossary list lives in GitHub.

Once consensus has been achieved on this forum thread about new terms or changes to definitions/tags/sources then a pull request can be submitted to GitHub and a moderator will review the change with the content team and the request will either be merged or rejected with feedback.

What kinds of terms should be included in this list?

The terms in this list are meant to be representative of significant concepts that are referenced in multiple summaries and posts on the forum. If these terms are not already associated with a content tag in the forum, then they should at least be good candidates for tags. This means that they are specific but not excessively niche; they are broad but not too general; they should be able to be used to meaningfully and usefully filter and sort content on the forum.

What should I do? How can I engage with this list?

Researchers may add to the forum thread below to propose and discuss additions or edits to the list. This is meant to be a living document. Terms and associated information are not set in stone and by no means do we expect the first iteration of this list to be complete or even mostly correct. We ask and encourage all forum participants to contribute to our taxonomy and help make this list better. We would love to see active discussion and disagreement even about what the appropriate terms are to describe forum content and what the most accurate definitions are for those terms.

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After a discussion with @cipherix, I believe a tag for “Sybil-protection” or “Sybil attack-resistant” or “Sybil attack” may be useful for the forum. It is important to articulate the difference between something that is Sybil-attack resistant vs. BFT in that they perform similar functions but the means of preserving node integrity are slightly different.

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Great suggestion. I think there are some past posts that reference Sybil attacks that could be tagged and I can easily envision future content using this tag. Can you go ahead and submit a pull request for this?

I have added “sybil-protection” to our tags and tagged this post accordingly: Research Summary - Chainlink: A Decentralized Oracle Network

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We have updated this document to now include definitions for terms (and related sources): docs/reference_terms_glossary.md at main · smartcontractresearchforum/docs · GitHub

Researchers can use the same process to interact with this reference material. Would love to see engagement and community contribution to this document. Please post here if you have suggestions for additions or edits to these terms, tags, definitions, or associated sources.

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I will need to add some tag for scalability articles.

We have the scalability tag right now

But I am wondering how far we should go in dividing scalability question.
First we Systematization of Knowledge (SOK) papers that encompass a big part of the state of the art. I don’t think I can find more than 10 that are relevant for blockchain or cryptography so I am not sure it needs its own tag.
Then you have tweaks to the consensus rule that are not POW/POS/BFT. For instance introducing a DAG instead of a Merkle tree. That could fit in “consensus”.
There is also the characterization with L0/L1/L2. L0 would be more the network, L1 the usual blockchain and L2 everything from lightining to rollup. And we could also subdivide L2.

What would you propose for the more specific list of tags for scalability?

I would say Layer-2 would be a nice addition.

Agreed. Here are some suggestions:

  • Layer-2,
  • Payment Channel,
  • Rollups
1 Like

So we have:
Optimistic
Layer 2
Rollups
Scalability
… as terms right now, but only Scalability has an associated tag. We can convert these other terms from the glossary into tags and add Payment Channel. Can one of you submit a PR for this?

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I can take care of the PR.
@Vishesh Pull Request

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After a brief discussion with @Rich and upon the recommendation of @zube.paul, I would like to propose an “Ethics” content tag that can be applied to research that deals with blockchain technology in the context of data ethics in particular. This paper that I summarized provides a broad discussion of some of the ethics issues in the smart contract and oracle space in particular. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Hi @jasonanastas, sounds like a good idea.

Have you had a look at the linked glossary page to get a sense of the format? There are some instructions in the OP that go over adding new tags.

For the ethics, here are some questions to get us started:

  • I wonder if there is a more specific term that encompasses blockchains specifically?
  • Is it generic and applicable enough to be a standalone tag?
  • Are there fundamental papers in the space that we can pull a definition from?
  • Who should we cite in the glossary?

If you are unsure about how to submit a PR to github we can come up with the formatting here and then I can add it to the repo.

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Thanks Rich, these are great questions. I’ll get back to you shortly with some responses.

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Hey @Rich some good news. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy was willing to entertain a proposal in their encyclopedia for “Blockchain Ethics” so I’ll let you know how that turns out. Also here is a revised proposal below. I included a link to a syllabus I found which seems like the most comprehensive treatment of the issue I’ve discovered thus far.

Proposed Tag Term Definition Source Link
blockchain-ethics Blockchain Ethics An area of research which studies the ethical aspects of the design, implementation, and governance of blockchain based monetary exchange systems and institutions. Source

Let me know what you think!

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Cheers, thanks for the update.

Some notes:

  • feels a bit circular to be referring to our own forum for a definition, there are no official sources?
  • the Term is the expanded version of the shortened Tag in the glossary so they should directly reflect each other I think
  • you have a tag for ‘ethics’ but in the term you get more granular with ‘Blockchain’ and ‘Oracle’ ethics, then in the definition there is ‘data’ and ‘contractual’ ethics mentioned. This is what I was getting at in my comment above about whether we need to create some clarity about what type of ethics we are talking about. It’s a fantastically encompassing term… Do we need to have one or more tags for oracle-ethics, data-ethics, etc. Or perhaps blockchain-ethics is enough to imply that it covers all the rest?
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Thanks @Rich, all fair points. Here’s my response to each below:

  • It is indeed circular, but that’s because there is no “official” source yet to the best of my knowledge. The paper that I summarized in the post that I linked to is the most official source I could find thus far but I can dig a bit more. If I were to refer to another source it would probably be something like “business ethics” which deals with data ethics and contract ethics.
  • No problem regarding the Term
  • I think blockchain-ethics is be best tag since it would encompass both data ethics and contractual ethics that are relevant to blockchain.

I will revise accordingly and reply.

3 Likes