EGU journal implements new requirement for authors to provide computer code of their models

Posted: August 20, 2013 by tallbloke in Accountability, data, FOI, Forecasting, methodology
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It’ll be interesting to see what effect, if any, this new policy has on submission volumes;

freethedataThe EGU open access journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) has implemented some radical new policies that apply to papers published in the journal. The changes are highlighted in an editorial recently published in GMD.

The new policies include the requirement that, from now on, authors must provide the actual computer code of their models to the reviewers or editor as part of the review process. Furthermore, authors are required to include a section in the paper itself discussing the availability of their code to the wider community. If the authors choose not to make their code available to the community, then they must describe the reasons for this.

The GMD executive editors hope these changes will improve the transparency and rigour of model development in the geosciences.

GMD, which was founded in 2007, recently received an ISI Impact Factor of 5.030, which is the 5th highest in the geosciences (out of about 170 journals).


  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    A step in the right direction. Only time will tell if they enforce the requirement and if other journals follow suit.

  2. w.w.wygart says:

    “If the authors choose not to make their code available to the community, then they must describe the reasons for this.”

    Yes – but there will ALWAYS be a vital reason why the code should not be disclosed, like: ‘Why should I disclose my code if you are just going to try and find something wrong with it?’

    Or – ‘This isn’t science, its a trade secret.’

    Or – ‘Disclosing my code in this ultra-competitive industry would compromise my livelihood or my ability to patent, commercialize or weaponize it at a future date.

    Or – ‘I worked really hard on this, like writing all of those grant requests, why should I just GIVE AWAY all of my best ideas.

    Or – I’ll publish my code when you PAY me for it.

    It seems impossible to underestimate the greed or vanity of academics or especially their envy of others’ greed and vanity in the private sector.

    How about: No, code? No publish! – Period.


  3. Brian H says:

    The radical new policy: enforce, sorta maybe, the basic requirement for reputable replicable science.