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Ten Simple Rules for the Open Development of Scientific Software

hessian (467078) writes | about 2 years ago

Open Source 0

hessian writes "Open-source software development has had significant impact, not only on society, but also on scientific research. Papers describing software published as open source are amongst the most widely cited publications (e.g., BLAST [1], [2] and Clustal-W [3]), suggesting many scientific studies may not have been possible without some kind of open software to collect observations, analyze data, or present results. It is surprising, therefore, that so few papers are accompanied by open software, given the benefits that this may bring.

Publication of the source code you write not only can increase your impact [4], but also is essential if others are to be able to reproduce your results. Reproducibility is a tenet of computational science [5], and critical for pipelines employed in data-driven biological research. Publishing the source for the software you created as well as input data and results allows others to better understand your methodology, and why it produces, or fails to produce, expected results. Public release might not always be possible, perhaps due to intellectual property policies at your or your collaborators' institutes; and it is important to make sure you know the regulations that apply to you. Open licensing models can be incredibly flexible and do not always prevent commercial software release [5]."

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