[License-discuss] license for code used for scientific results?

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu
Mon Apr 30 18:14:28 UTC 2012

You probably have already done this but I suggest seeing if the
ScienceCommons and NeuroCommons projects offers something to your liking.



It would be highly useful to have a single set of licenses to cover data,
software and publications along with the usual set of CC like options (BY,
BY-SA, BY-SA-NC, etc).  The most likely place to find where we're at with
that is within the ScienceCommons community.  Working with that community
might be fruitful for you.

IMHO you are better served to release under a permissive license and build
a community that encourages sharing than attempt to force sharing.  The
neurocommons project is an excellent exemplar in my opinion.  I believe
most of their code is BSD or something similar.  I like it far more than
the EPPA model...but perhaps EPPA driven to be that way since they use the
GAMS commercial product.

Regarding your desire for an OSI approved license that meets your
criteria...I pretty sure it doesn't exist.



On 4/30/12 11:36 AM, "Kevin Hunter" <hunteke at earlham.edu> wrote:

>Hullo List,
>For a scientific computing project, I'd like to encourage redistribution
>of software upon publication of research results (e.g. academic
>journals) by third parties using our code.  I'm not currently aware of
>any license geared toward this scenario.  (There are lots of examples of
>academic journals requiring this, but I'm having a difficult time
>tracking down a license for /code/ that is generally used to inform an
>academic publication.  More specifically, the sub-sub discipline for
>which the code I have written will potentially be used currently does
>not run rich with a FOSS ethos.)
>As an example, if we license our code under the GPL, then folks who
>publish papers with results from use of our software are never
>redistributing any /software/, only publishing a paper, and are thus not
>required to share code.  However, we feel from a scientific standpoint
>that it's crucial that the code (*and* data) used for publication
>results be shared.
>The closest I've been able to find is the EPPA license, which has this
>as provision 6 (currently available from:
>http://globalchange.mit.edu/research/IGSM/eppadl_form ):
>6. Any party which publishes results from a modification of the Software
>Model must also publish the source code of their modifications, in the
>same form as the Software Model is here released, and under the same
>license terms.  Said party must cause the modified files to carry
>prominent notices stating that the files were changed and the date of
>the change.
>Unfortunately, there are other parts of the license which are not
>acceptable to us (e.g. we do not want to limit non-academic use)
>So, are there other licenses geared toward code (and data) used for
>academic publications?
>Also, in the case that there are no other licenses acceptable/available
>to us, a second, meta-license question: How are the texts of the various
>OSI approved licenses themselves licensed?  Are they free for folks to
>modify?  (Perhaps to be described as a 'modified-OSI license' when used
>Also, please, I'm not looking for responses along the lines of "you
>can't enforce it so ignore it."  I'm very specifically focused on the
>licensing aspect.  (As they say, "One problem at a time!")
>Thank you,
>License-discuss mailing list
>License-discuss at opensource.org

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