Global Access to Research Software: The Forgotten Pillar of Open Science Implementation
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-03-31
Global Access to Research Software: The Forgotten Pillar of Open Science Implementation. Authors: Koen Vermeir, Sabina Leonelli, Abdullah Shams Bin Tariq, Samuel Olatunbosun Sojinu, Augustine Ocloo, Md. Ashraful Islam Khan, Louise Bezuidenhout
"Executive Summary: Research software is central to modern science. Virtually all researchers today use a variety of software for many purposes including steering complex apparatuses, modelling hypotheses, collecting data and analysing ndings. Therefore, access to appropriate research software is crucial for researchers to be able to produce, disseminate and re-use outputs, and it is equal- ly key to participating in the global trend towards Open Science.
There are often good reasons for using proprie- tary software and open source software, respec- tively, but in all cases a rst important require- ment is that the software is widely accessible and compatible with other software, so that data and results can easily be retrieved. A sec- ond important requirement is the adaptability of the software to ful l speci c and sometimes idiosyncratic needs. Additionally, scienti c re- search needs to be reproducible, which means that not only the data but also the methodology and the processes of analysis are to be shared, and this works most effectively with open source software. Finally, science needs to be scruti- nised by peers and there is an increasing de- mand for science to become more transparent, which makes the use of open source software particularly appealing. The existence of a dynamic open source community in general soft- ware (cf. Linux, Mozilla, Wikimedia) should not blind researchers to the limited uptake of open software in the sciences. The reasons for this, as well as the speci c problems and needs of the sciences with regard to open software, need to be identi ed and empirically explored. The authors believe that software is the new frontier in the successful implementation of Open Science. Open Research Software is crucial to the uptake and analysis of Open Data and the accomplishment of transparent and reproducible research....
Preliminary findings from this research include the following:
• Researchers in low-income countries overwhelmingly rely on proprietary software.
• The desired research software is highly field-specific and diverse.
• Lack of access to software signifcantly affects research content and networks.
• There is a signifcant gap in the uptake and even awareness of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) alternatives between low-income and high-income countries1.
• There is an interest in adopting and developing FOSS, but for this interest to bear fruit, there is a strong need for increased FOSS awareness, knowledge, training and support....