Open source in science

Modern science strongly relies on the computer modeling. Most of the models in the complexity science, the object of the Physics of Risk, requires computer modeling and usually may not be dealt with analytically. For a person familiar with the computer modeling it should be known that the variety computer algorithms is very large and that there also is a variety of ways to understand these algorithms. Thus each person might solve the same complex task slightly differently and thus produce slightly different results. This brings us to the point that in order to comprehend what has been done by a certain scientist one should not only study the equations and assumptions made by him, but one also needs to have access to the source code of the software used by that certain scientist.

Yet there is still a problem that only few scientists to make the source code of their software public available. This behavior is not very desired as in order to reproduce the same results other scientists must make a lot of efforts. Some times the attempts to reproduce published results fail. This problem may be solved by encouraging adoption of the open source ideas by the scientific community.

We, the contributors of Physics of Risk, have already faced the negative effects of the closed source culture, thus most of our models made available on Physic of Risk are published together with their source code. Though it is well hidden inside the applet's JAR archive (open it with any modern archiver, inside you should find java file, which contains the source code).

Read more on open source software in science in Nature Editorial "If you want reproducible science, the software needs to be open source".