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Programming Science

Open Research Computation Closes Before Opening 22

New submitter wagdav writes " Open Research Computation, a peer-reviewed journal on software designed for use by researchers closes on 8th May 2012. It just started to accept manuscripts sometime last year, and had not actually launched yet. The journal was to be open access and tried to be different than others with very demanding pre-submission requirements such as: code availability, high quality documentation and testing, the availability of test input and output data, and reproducibility. Now it is planned to be launched as an ongoing series in Source Code for Biology and Medicine."
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Open Research Computation Closes Before Opening

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  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @12:49AM (#39864985) Journal

    The summary fails to note that the other journal is open access, also. If I were more cynical, I'd think that some scientific publishers want to give the impression that "open access" is failing before it starts.

    • I do not understand if this is a case of fails to start or starts to fail

      • My guess is that this is simply a case of a prospective journal not getting as many submissions as expected. Why anyone thought this was particularly newsworthy is beyond me --- hence the rising cynicism / astroturf-sniffer.

        • by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:39AM (#39867871)

          The reason is probably obvious: they really wanted to publish good science. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of computational results are obtained with software that's tweaked until it "works" and held together with chewing gum and spit, and don't dare upgrade that FORTRAN compiler or else. Nobody cared enough to comply with their high standards if the same-old way of "doing it" will get you published elsewhere. Their failure is probably a contribution to the body of proof that there's a lot of published "science" out there that has that pungent aroma of a freshly fertilized field on an organic farm. They did exactly what Feynman would have liked journals to do, and exactly what he'd have expected all scientists to follow. It's sad in a way that it didn't work out.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @12:50AM (#39864987)

    ...with a journal named ORC.

  • say that the project has been stopped before it opened? I don't see how it could close if it had never opened in the first place, and since this was to be a journal about computer science, and arguably about logic, this makes no sense as stated...
    • The open completed but no writes had taken place. A close was still necessary or you'd have an extra file handle.

  • by locopuyo ( 1433631 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @04:17AM (#39865657) Homepage
    Perhaps this can be explained by a recent slashdot article about a quantum experiment that shows effect before cause? []
  • No wonder.

    I mean users must have the right to examine, compile, run and modify the code for any purpose (emphasis mine): really? I know it's "science" and "open", but come on, realism needs to kick in at some point.
    • by Fwipp ( 1473271 )

      What's unrealistic about letting them use the code however they want?

    • by tibit ( 1762298 )

      In a computational paper, software is part of the methodology. Not being able to use the code as the reader pleases is equivalent to not being able to reproduce the results. If a journal makes it purposefully hard to reproduce the results, it's not a scientific journal.

      • by l3v1 ( 787564 )
        Not being able to use the code as the reader pleases is equivalent to not being able to reproduce the results.

        I'm sorry but this is stupid. Research is not free software charity work. Most of software developed for research - unless we're talking software research strictly of course - is proof-of-concept code to underline an idea, and the results are what matter, not the implementation. Most researchers wouldn't even have time to create publishable quality code, because it's not the goal, it's just a too
        • by tibit ( 1762298 )

          if you want to patent and protect something, you can't always be totally clear. It's just how this game is played

          I'd be seriously pissed if any of my taxes went to fund your research (if you do such). Not only you're a bad-science apologist (it's all a game to you), you're wrong. If you want to patent something, you're free to be as clear as you wish. There's at least one patent from HP where they include entire instrument's firmware in the US patent. Yes, it runs hundreds of pages. You have a limited time to apply for a patent once you publish, but that's it. Go read up on IP law one day, please.

          Reproducing an algorithm from descriptions in a paper is usually a student's job

          And how on earth doe

    • They don't request that you allow unlimited distribution of the software neither that one can sell it. Examine, compile and run. It does not sound as scary as you make it sound :-)

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham