>I agree that the papers do not spell out the algorithm however any professional scientist worth their salt can fill in any gaps.
I am afraid this is not even close to reality. Sure, there are many papers with more or less trivial implementations where you can defend your statement, but then you are ignoring a major chunk of today's academic research in science.
Often the code bases are large proprietary beasts, other times it is major code bases built over time at the university, only available to select people. Often we are talking about code bases where you certainly *do not* just fill in the gaps, simply because it would be a monumental undertaking, and you still would get somewhat different results because you did not implement the method identically.
This is a problem we are really struggling with these days, and as one informed poster mentioned the GPLv3 is our best shot at making things better for the future. It is so bad that lack of common code bases between academic communities brings advances to a grinding halt. Compute intensive tasks that require complex codes tend to progress very slowly.
I am thrilled to see this topic on the agenda, and I hope everybody realises that research involving implementations is not worthy academia unless all codes are provided with at least a GPLv3 (or alternatively a less restrictive) license. Moreover, researchers should be encouraged to build on already established codes instead of reinventing the wheel. This is the only way science can prosper, Newton and Leibniz understood this perfectly three hundred years ago. It is about time today's humans do too.