Ten simple rules for the open development of scientific software
Posted Dec 29, 2012 21:45 UTC (Sat) by oever
In reply to: Ten simple rules for the open development of scientific software
Parent article: Ten simple rules for the open development of scientific software
The whole point of publishing software along with articles is so that others may easily check the published results. The PLOS article notes that "few papers are accompanied by open software". From experience as researcher and developer in physical chemistry ('98-'03), bioinformatics ('04-'07) and X-Ray crystallography ('07-'09) I can say that this is valid.
Scientists love to use FOSS stacks, but mostly do not publish their own code. This is justified by saying that others could implement the described algorithms and achieve the same results that way. This is true when the algorithms have been documented completely and resources are infinite. Making a second implementation would indeed be a good check, but also takes a lot of work. Incentive for recreating the software that would yield no new publishable material is low.
Journals should and sometimes do require that source code is published with articles.
Of course there are exceptions to the rule. Tartini is a nice desktop application for analyzing musical performance. NSGT toolbox is a library for transforming audio from the time domain to the logarithmic frequency domain (FFT transforms to linear frequency domain).
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