Open source in science

Higher education teachers: Penič Samo
Credits: 4

Subject description

We will meet the open source development model, the advantages of free licenses (for example Creative Commons), open research data and databases, which are the basis for open science and enable the development of new approaches to research and research tools.

We will test the benefits of open source on practical examples of computer software (for example, the operating system Linux and its distribution optimized for mobile phones Android, typesetting system LaTeX which is a standard for the communication and publication of scientific documents, high-level programming language GNU Octave, primary intended for numerical calculations), hardware (for example, kits for building digital devices Arduino and Single-board computer Raspberry Pi), databases (for example, Wikimedia Commons, part of Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, text corpora) and the problems connected with handling different types of data (big data, regional data, public sector information...).

Objectives and competences:

Understanding the basic principles of open source, which are a universal access to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.

Understanding the open source development model, which proved to be very successful also as a business model. Instead of closed internal competition, it offers open cooperation and is rapidly spreading on the fields of science, technology, databases, social structure...

Understanding the basic principles of open source and the open source development model (also on practical examples from science, technology, databases, social structure...)

Understanding a broader impact of open source in the social and scientific environment.

Learning and teaching methods:

  • In the framework of the lectures we will present a broad specter of the usefulness of open source, also with the help of experts from very different fields.
  • In the framework of the seminar the students will present a topic of their own choice or organize in a group to work on a more complex project and publish it in an open repository (like Github).
  • In the framework of the individual work interdisciplinary, project work and group work will be encouraged.

Study materials

Due to the open nature of the course, most of the literature is freely accessible on the Internet:

  • Good general reference page isfor example book;
  • Eric S. Raymond: The Cathedral & the Bazaar, O'Reilly Media, 2001;
  • Lawrence Lessig: Free Culture, Penguin books, 2004;
  • Matej Kovačič: Linux, 2010. (;
  • Linux Gazette;
  • Linux Journal

  • Study in which the course is carried out

    • 0 year - cycle - Extracurricular activities