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Higher education and research is a major producer of open source software, as demonstrated, for example, by the Gaspard-Monge computer science research laboratory (LIGM), situated to the east of Paris, with more than 80% of its software output distributed under an open source licence. The laboratory sets great store by the visibility of its software, and has proposed, for example, a procedure for distributing software that assists researchers during the distribution stages, or even a template for managing software (PRESOFT template).
More recently, we have addressed the question of the value of this scientific output and, in collaboration with Professor Tomas Recio (Nebrija University, Madrid), we have proposed the CDUR protocol for evaluating research software. It comprises four steps: Citation, Dissemination, Use, Research. It is the Dissemination aspect that examines the conditions for distributing and sharing software and, in particular, the use of FLOSS licences.
The improvement in research evaluation procedures, including taking account of the production of software within researchers’ careers, will provide favourable conditions for its distribution.
On the basis of our experience with open source software for higher education and research, we are proposing a broader definition of open science. We are drawing on work to provide open access to publications and research data to include open access to other scientific output. Open science is thus the political and legal framework within which scientific output is shared and distributed, in order to be rendered visible, accessible and reusable. It also encompasses the changes in evaluation procedures, which help to make scientific output more openly accessible.
Free/open source software in higher education and research, open science, evaluation of research