This is open-access week.
Most already know they should be publishing in open-access journals and/or self-archiving their papers. But moving science towards open access has been… slow.
I was going to write that things have been moving at a glacial pace, thinking that would be an exaggeration; but nowadays I worry the world’s glaciers may be moving/melting fast enough to be gone before open access is the norm. To get science moving faster, scientists need to convince their institutions and funders to mandate that their science be available free online.
And what about the program code or script you use to power your experiment or analyze your data? Have you ever gotten all the way through your analysis, been adding what you thought were the final touches, and then found an error in your code? Coding errors can be hard to catch. We need to be publishing our code together with our paper and our data because:
- Scientists spend too much time programming things from scratch that others have already programmed.
- To verify published science, you ought to be able to examine the associated code. In science, coding errors do happen.
Publishing one’s code and data as well as the manuscript is part of open science.