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Scientists: All Research Should Be Open Source
Phys.org is reporting on a recently published paper that suggests all scientific journals should require the full disclosure of source code as a condition of publication. The paper states that only 3 science journals currently require source code.
Open Source Science
The paper makes some very good points. It makes the argument that, as computers play an increasingly important role in scientific research, the code those computers run should be just as open as any other part of the experiment. For other scientists to be able to reproduce the results and improve on the work, they need to have access to all of the materials used. Withholding the source code is akin to censoring out part of the research: it prevents others from continuing where the original research left off.
This is, of course, the exact reasoning behind free software licenses such as the GPL. Work on one project should be easily applied to all others, and anyone who benefits from that work must give back any improvements or changes they made. This principle has worked brilliantly well for web servers, browsers, and operating systems, so why not for science?
The Phys.org report then goes on to comment on an issue that is all too familiar:
||Apr 21, 2012 9:22 PM
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