Support the use of free and open source software (FOSS)

Matthew Cashman
September 10, 2018

An important part of open access is using and developing free and open source tools. For instance, publishing a paper that includes materials (including code) produced with Matlab limits the audience to those who have access to and have learned this closed-source, expensive, proprietary tool. For many purposes R, which is FOSS, would be as good as Matlab or better.

There may be instances where the right choice is closed-source and proprietary, but the Institute should make all possible efforts to incentivize choosing FOSS tools whenever possible. This is relevant to incentives around tool choice and publication, but it should also be reflected by MIT's internal IT systems. For example, MIT should incentivize departments to offer GNU/Linux as an operating system on the computers they supply.

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