O|B|F Statement on Public Funding & Open Source

Preliminary Policy Statement on Public Funding and Open Source

The Open Bioinformatics Foundation believes that scientific software
developed with public support should be distributed under terms analogous
to those applied to biological materials. In common with treatment of
reagents under the UBMTA and good practice, we believe that the essential
source code necessary for reproducing published results should be made
readily available for non-commercial research use.

While acknowledging that open source licenses may not be optimal in every
instance, we believe that development and release of software under open
source licenses is often beneficial and efficient in creating valuable
scientific software, and in encouraging its widespread use and most
successful exploitation.

We view researchers as the individuals most capable of determining if
their software will be developed and exploited in an optimal manner under an
open source license, and we therefore encourage institutions to delegate
to their scientists the opportunity to select non-restrictive and open
source licenses for their software.


The Open Bioinformatics Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit (pending)
organization dedicated to supporting the development, distribution, and
understanding of collaborative software in computational biology and
bioinformatics. Dating from 1994 and incorporated in 2001, the Foundation
sponsors the annual Biological Open Source Conference, software
development workshops, and provides umbrella support to the Bioperl,
Biopython, BioJava, and other open source bioinformatics development
efforts. More than 1000 individuals have signed on to Foundation lists or
attended its conferences. Also referred to as open-bio and O|B|F, the
Open Bioinformatics Foundation has no affiliation with the similarly named
groups at openinformatics.org or bioinformatics.org. The Foundation’s
website is at http://open-bio.org/