Enabling Reproducible Research: Open Licensing for Scientific Innovation
International Journal of Communications Law and Policy, Forthcoming
55 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2009
Date Written: March 3, 2009
There is a gap in the current licensing and copyright structure for the growing number of scientists releasing their research publicly, particularly on the Internet. Scientific research produces more scholarship than the final paper: for example, the code, data structures, experimental design and parameters, documentation, and figures, are all important both for communication of the scholarship and replication of the results. US copyright law is a barrier to the sharing of scientific scholarship since it establishes exclusive rights for creators over their work, thereby limiting the ability of others to copy, use, build upon, or alter the research. This is precisely opposite to prevailing scientific norms, which provide both that results be replicated before accepted as knowledge, and that scientific understanding be built upon previous discoveries for which authorship recognition is given. In accordance with these norms and to encourage the release of all scientific scholarship, I propose the Reproducible Research Standard (RRS) both to ensure attribution and facilitate the sharing of scientific works. Using the RRS on all components of scientific scholarship will encourage reproducible scientific investigation, facilitate greater collaboration, and promote engagement of the larger community in scientific learning and discovery.
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