What Is Open Science?

Share Methods and Output to Increase Impact

Open science is the practice of making scientific methodologies and output (such as publications, data, and software) transparent and broadly accessible. Open science maximizes the reuse of available data and code and enables scientists to build on the work of their peers.

Researchers using MATLAB® and Simulink® can practice open science to increase the scientific impact of their work.

Open Methods: Executable Notebooks

Well-documented methods and workflows enable open science by helping scientists follow each others’ experimental logic and interpret results.

Live Scripts

Using MATLAB live scripts, researchers can tell a story with data, code, and in-line visuals to make their work process and results transparent and easy to grasp. Researchers can:

Example MATLAB Live Script combining code, text, figures, and UI controls in a computational notebook.

Example MATLAB live script combining code, text, figures, and UI controls in a computational notebook. NOTE: Click on the images to enlarge them.

MATLAB with Jupyter

Jupyter® Notebooks are browser-accessible computational notebooks that are popular for open science projects. As with Python, MATLAB users can develop and run Jupyter Notebooks (.ipynb files) with an available MATLAB kernel and a MATLAB license.

To interact with a multi-user JupyterHub environment, you can install the MATLAB Integration for Jupyter to provide access to a full MATLAB desktop via a web browser for licensed users.

MATLAB running on a JupyterHub installation in the cloud

MATLAB running on a JupyterHub installation in the cloud.

Open Data and Access

Providing access to data, models, and algorithms enables scientists to build on existing frameworks. Open science requires inter-operability between different data formats and programming languages, to ensure access across frameworks.

Open Access to Data

Publicly available datasets that can be accessed with MATLAB tools include:

Reading Data Formats

Standard data and model formats also support open science. MATLAB can:

Interoperable Code and MATLAB Algorithms

For open science, open access to data must be accompanied by open access to code and algorithms that generate meaningful results from these data.

The different data sources, sensors, and platforms that are compatible and interoperable with MATLAB.

The different data sources, sensors, and platforms that are compatible and interoperable with MATLAB.

Open Code

A main motivation for open science is the reuse of scientific artifacts and algorithms. Sharing code and software helps colleagues build on each other’s work.

Open MATLAB Code on File Exchange

Researchers can freely access, download, and use MATLAB code and algorithms shared by their peers on File Exchange, or access them via the Add-Ons button on the MATLAB toolbar.

Toolbox authors can share their algorithms by linking to the GitHub repositories from File Exchange, ensuring a single code source with added visibility. File Exchange repositories linked to GitHub will automatically connect to the latest GitHub version.

Open MATLAB Code on Reusability Portals

Several reusability portals for open science offer a home for code where researchers can run uploaded code and reproduce results in the cloud, regardless of whether the researchers have a MATLAB license.

  • Code Ocean: Contains runnable MATLAB code capsules associated with research papers
  • Whole Tale: Hosts reproducible research artifacts or “tales” (MATLAB tales are accessible using a browser-based MATLAB desktop, Jupyter Notebook running MATLAB, or Linux web desktop)
  • BioLib: Converts shared MATLAB code to web apps for use with data in a secure environment
MATLAB code published, runnable, and downloadable on Code Ocean and Whole Tale reusability platforms.

MATLAB code published, runnable, and downloadable on Code Ocean and Whole Tale reusability platforms.

Open Science Infrastructure

As researchers increasingly connect and collaborate remotely, open science requires infrastructure beyond an individual’s local workstation.

Runnable Code via Web Browser

Online access to coding environments makes scientific resources portable and accessible on the web.

  • MATLAB Online and Simulink Online provide access to MATLAB over the web, without installation or download
  • File storage on MATLAB Drive allows researchers, educators, and students to collaborate remotely on projects and exchange artifacts

 

Access to MATLAB and Simulink from any standard web browser, with no downloads or installations required.

Access to MATLAB and Simulink from any standard web browser, with no downloads or installations required.

MATLAB on Public Clouds and Services

MATLAB is accessible on various services used in open science.

MATLAB in Docker Containers

Containerized code is portable and reusable for open science. Available MATLAB containers include:

Science Gateways

Science gateways are online collaboration portals where scientists and engineers access shared resources. To enable open science, MathWorks and many science gateways have collaborated to make community-contributed MATLAB-related content and MATLAB compute available.

Flexible Licensing for More Coverage

Many universities and research institutes have adopted campus-wide and Institute-wide MATLAB licensing models to provide MATLAB access to all their affiliated members. In keeping with open science principles, academic institutions can also provide access to MATLAB by external collaborators working on a project.

Open Science in Education

Open science is not limited to research, and practices include making scientific output and methods available and accessible to students and educators. Examples of publicly accessible resources for educators and students are:

See also: shareable, reusable, MATLAB code, educator curriculum content