Saturday, May 19, 2012

A paper in Nature on Scientific Software

The news was brought to me by Martin Davis who had from Stefan Steiner.  The paper is:  The case for open computer programs and was published in Nature.

Here it is what Martin says:

"The paper raises the argument for open source software to a higher plane, that of being a necessary component of scientific proof. It points out that the increasing use of computational science as a basis for scientific discovery implies that open source must become a standard requirement for documentation. Apparently some journals such as Science already require source code to be supplied along with submissions of articles. Amongst other advantages, access to source code is an essential element of peer review.
An interesting example they mention is the infamous HadCRUT and CRUTEM3 meteorological datasets. One of the (few) salient criticisms levelled at this information during Climategate was the inability to reproduce the results by re-running the software. (Mind you, the software was probably a pile of crufty old Fortran programs mashed up by Perl scripts, so maybe it's just as well)"

This clearly reflect what I already wrote in some of my posts:

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