In Search of Prior Arguments

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

A faculty member whose research involves building some fairly complex scientific software would like to make all his work open source. He is repeatedly having to justify this choice to funding agencies and his dean, whose objections include:

  • concern for sensitive information being released (anything involving pollution has the potential to become a political football)
  • concern for misuse by naive users undermining the reputation of the tool
  • concern for missing value in licensing the IP

I know lots of other people have had to overcome these and other objections; what I'm looking for is a published (and preferably peer-reviewed) refutation of them that he and others can cite, preferably one that is specific to open source in science (rather than in general). Pointers would be very welcome.

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