The Science Code Manifesto

The Science Code Manifesto is a proposal that applies to the software used for scientific purposes one of the core principles of science itself: publication. The starting point of the Manifesto, written by Nick Barnes and quickly endorsed by hundreds of scientists, scholars and open science activists, is that software is an increasingly important part of the scientific method and should be threated like other scientific data: in an open and transparent way.

In this spirit, anybody can endorse the Manifesto or, in case of disagreement, discuss and improve it online.

Software is a cornerstone of science. Without software, twenty-first century science would be impossible. Without better software, science cannot progress. But the culture and institutions of science have not yet adjusted to this reality. We need to reform them to address this challenge, by adopting these five principles:

Code – All source code written specifically to process data for a published paper must be available to the reviewers and readers of the paper.

Copyright – The copyright ownership and license of any released source code must be clearly stated.

Citation – Researchers who use or adapt science source code in their research must credit the code’s creators in resulting publications.

Credit – Software contributions must be included in systems of scientific assessment, credit, and recognition.

Curation – Source code must remain available, linked to related materials, for the useful lifetime of the publication.

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