Science Code Manifesto

'Code is Method' button, 240x120I am pleased to announce the launch of the Science Code Manifesto, laying out general principles of publication for science software. Please read the manifesto, endorse it if you agree, then come back here to discuss it.

This issue isn’t specific to climate science. I originally created this as a response and contribution to the Royal Society’s policy study on “Science as a Public Enterprise”. It is partly inspired by the Panton Principles, a bold statement of ideals in scientific data sharing. It refines the ideas I laid out in an opinion piece for Nature in 2010.

However, I did not originate these ideas. They are simply extensions of the core principle of science: publication. Publication is what distinguishes science from alchemy, and is what has propelled science – and human society – so far and so fast in the last 300 years. The Manifesto is the natural application of this principle to the relatively new, and increasingly important, area of science software.

Go on, endorse it now.

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3 Responses to Science Code Manifesto

  1. Rhys Ulerich says:

    In the Discussion page ( it states “Adapting someone else’s code without permission and citation is plagiarism” to which I’d add that “permission” may inherently be granted by software licensing terms (e.g. FOSS or free-for-non-commercial situations).

    • Alexander Atkins says:

      Rhys, that section of the Discussion document is about citation. All open source licences require citation.

  2. Larry says:

    I like this manifesto and I think it expresses a lot of my concerns with science and software. I want to contemplate it a little more before I choose to endorse it.

    One thing I would like to know from the foundation that created the manifesto is which articles of publication, development or software have met the standards of the manifesto and which have not. That could be a very telling list and set an interesting competition among publishers.

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