Why Open Source?*

In the commercial marketplace, open source is a movement promotes universal access to a product's design or blueprint via a free license, and promotes subsequent improvements by anyone, with the expectation that these too will be open source. A main principle and practice of open-source development is peer collaboration and bartering, with the end-product and documentation available at no cost to the public. This approach is quite common in software development, and has been adopted to promote the development of “appropriate” technologies, and even drug discovery.

Advances in science, in particular those supported by public funds, are usually required to be publicly available. This policy even applies to the “raw” data used to generate the published results. We believe that technologies developed wholly with public funds should be made available as well, including associated designs and test data as appropriate. We strongly believe that an “open source” approach to disseminating technologies enables more rapid discovery and more efficient use of our community’s limited financial resources. When partnering with commercial entities, we make every effort to encourage “open source” approaches to development, and to ensure that any co-developed technologies are –at the very least- available to academic scientists at a reasonable price.

Here are some examples of our “open source” technologies. Feel free to click on the images, which will lead you to a description of these tools, and links to their designs and, in some cases, supplier and price lists.

* = This introduction was inspired by the “open source initiative” page at Wikipedia.org.  For more information about the “open source” philosophy, please visit opensource.org

HPRS, HPRV In Situ Mass Spectrometer (ISMS)