The Global Access to Research Software Working Group Report titled ‘Global Access to Research Software: The Forgotten Pillar of Open Science Implementation’ was launched at the conclusion of the international workshop on Open Science, ‘New Perspectives on Open Science’, convened by GYA Co-Chair Moritz Riede (UK) and Open Science Working Group Co-Lead Koen Vermeir (France). The 20 March workshop in Oxford, UK, was live-streamed and a video can be found on the GYA's Facebook page.
Virtually all researchers today use a variety of software to carry out and organise their research. Therefore, the global trend towards Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is often assumed to be a boon for researchers in low-income countries.
However, data revealed by the GYA’s Global Access to Research Software (GARS) Working Group clearly shows that researchers in Bangladesh, Ghana and Nigeria have only limited knowledge about and experience with FOSS. There also seems to be little interaction between the Open Research Software communities in high-income and low-income countries. Even if FOSS is free to use for everyone, the lack of active promotion and training specifically targeted to FOSS means that it remains inaccessible to most researchers.
These and other issues were uncovered by the GYA, in collaboration with Oxford-based International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), which carried out a pilot survey to assess the quantity and quality of access to proprietary and open source software among researchers from all disciplines based across the globe.
The complete report, including findings and policy recommendations, can be found here.
The News Release for the GARS report launch is available here.