Shining Light into Black Boxes

RDCEP PI Ian Foster and colleagues discussed the need for open source research software

The article “Shining Light Into Black Boxes” illuminates the importance of making source code available to other researches, in order to allow for scholarly review and preventing duplication of effort. A suggestion is made that journal publishers and funding agencies should require disclosure of source code, in order to eliminate the issue of “black boxes.” This withholding of information prevents programs from reaching fuller potential; for example, vital errors might not be caught. Reproducibility would allow for greater efficiency and quality, as well as reduced error. Requirements for computer code should be in line with other fields that share scientific data and materials. 


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