Writing a grant proposal. - I am looking for information about the usage of the bittorrent protocol for open science data. Does anyone know of a recent paper, blog post or study?

Specifically I am interested in the usage of science data from the natural sciences, specifically Earth Sciences, e.g. geophysics datasets. But I am not looking to download data, I am more interested in usage patterns and popularity measurements.

What is this data offered via bittorrent like? Is it legacy data from old projects (that someone wrapped up and put in a container), or reference datasets that everyone uses, or newer datasets that are just too big to be hosted on a single computer?

(However the question asked here is a marginal aspect of the proposal.)

Update: here is one general article: Langille & Eisen, 2010: "BioTorrents: A File Sharing Service for Scientific Data"

Update 2: Similar Question from 2014, asked here, with very comprehensive answers (community wiki): What are some OpenData torrents to seed?

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    Perhaps the trollcast maintainers have some pointers. One problem with science data is that the number of users is relatively small, so you don't get the same distributed advantage as when 10,000 people are downloading/sharing a new Ubuntu distribution. If the data distributor has to keep a bittorrent share open for 2 users per week (or much less...), the advantages of bittorrent are lost.
    – gerrit
    Sep 29, 2016 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


Did you try searching Google for open science bittorrent usage filetype:pdf
There's a lot of results there to go through, but here are a few:
Enabling Distributed Scientific Computing on the Campus
not 100% bittorrent, but applicable in my professional opinion:
Are P2P Data-Dissemination Techniques Viable in Today's Data-Intensive Scientific Collaborations?

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