The Science Code Manifesto

The Science Code Manifesto

Creator: Nick Barnes has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry, as a researcher, programmer, software engineer, consultant, and manager. In 1997 he co-founded Ravenbrook Limited, a software consultancy firm, for which he worked until starting the Climate Code Foundation, and for which he continues as a director. In 2008 he founded the Clear Climate Code project, which is now part of the work of the Foundation.

Purpose: In response to and contribution to the Royal Society’s policy study on “Science as a Public Enterprise”. And, to express the belief that “Open Source publication of all science software will be one outcome of the current revolution in scientific methods”.


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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