Have you ever considered making your software or hardware designs publicly available? Sharing your work with collaborators in research and industry has many advantages, but it may also present some questions and challenges. To help you with all issues relating to the release of your software and hardware designs, we are launching CERN’s Open Source Program Office (OSPO).
In our community, it is common practice to publish open source software and hardware designs. By releasing your work under licences that allow others to use it, study its source code, redistribute it and share improvements, you can promote transparent and inclusive research practices. Given that all our research is a collaborative effort, open source is a common way of making our software and hardware accessible to everyone, allowing us to grow through contributions and new partners.
But how easy is it to publish open source designs? While there are many advantages to releasing open source software and hardware, it also presents challenges, such as addressing intellectual property rights by choosing the right licence. The effects of licence choices on future collaborations are not always obvious and must be carefully considered. Additionally, you may be confronted with technical challenges in ensuring that released material can be effectively used and modified by others.
Why an Open Source Program Office?
The OSPO will support you, whether you are a member of the personnel or a user, to find the best solution by giving you access to a set of best practices, tools and recommendations. With representatives from all sectors at CERN, it brings together a broad range of expertise on open source practices. If you would like to get in touch with the OSPO, you can contact us via Open.Source@cern.ch. As well as supporting the CERN internal community, the OSPO will engage with external partners to strengthen CERN’s role as a promoter of open source.
Open source is a key pillar of open science. By promoting open source practices, the OSPO thus seeks to address one of CERN’s core ambitions: sharing our knowledge with the world. Ultimately, the aim is to increase the reach of open source projects from CERN to maximise their benefits for the scientific community, industry and society at large.
We launch on 28 November – join us!
The second day will be dedicated to the role of the OSPO within CERN; the new office will be driven by engagement from the CERN community and will strive to meet its needs. We will briefly present the plans for the OSPO and listen to your ideas, questions, projects and concerns. Please join us on this occasion: https://cern.ch/ospo-2. You are welcome to submit your questions before the event on our forum: https://ospo.web.cern.ch/tag/opening-event.