Open Science

What Is Open Science?

Open Science is the practice of scientific research such that the methodologies and output (publications, data, software) are transparent, available, and broadly accessible. It aims to maximize reuse of available data and code and enable scientists to build on the work of their peers.

Open Science practices include:

  • Open Methods: documenting and explaining all methods and workflows used in scientific research
  • Open Data and Access: making data and publications accessible to the community
  • Open Code: ensuring algorithms and code used in research are human-readable and available
  • Open Infrastructure: establishing scientific infrastructures that facilitate collaboration
  • Open Education: enabling access to teaching material

Researchers using MATLAB® and Simulink® can practice Open Science and increase the scientific impact of their work by making their research transparent, reusable, and reproducible.

Open Methods in Research

Well-documented and well-articulated methods and workflows make it possible for scientists to follow experimental logic and interpret results, enabling Open Science. 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.

With this approach, researchers can:

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

Open Data and Access

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

Open Access to Data

Because MATLAB supports standard data and model formats, it’s straightforward to import and work with inputs generated by other software applications, devices, and instruments. MATLAB can:

Open Access to Code and MATLAB Algorithms

To fully practice Open Science, open access to data must be accompanied by open access to code and the algorithms that generate meaningful results from the data. Such code can be written in many different languages, but should be comprehensible (human readable), available, and interoperable.

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

Open Code

Open source software is defined as code that is freely sharable and modifiable by parties who are not the original author. Sharing code and software helps colleagues build on each other’s work.

For toolbox users

Open Science recommends reuse of scientific artifacts and algorithms. Researchers can freely access, download, and use MATLAB code and algorithms shared by their peers on File Exchange. File Exchange toolboxes are also available via the Add-Ons button on the MATLAB toolbar.

For toolbox authors

Researchers can share their algorithms by linking to the GitHub repositories from File Exchange, thereby  ensuring a single code source while enabling File Exchange visitors to find the repository and download the code. File Exchange repositories will automatically link to the latest GitHub version.

Open Science Infrastructure

Open Science requires infrastructure beyond the local workstation as researchers connect and collaborate remotely. Online access to their coding environment makes scientific resources portable and accessible from anywhere over the web. Science gateways and cloud infrastructure facilitate Open Science by making web-based platforms for using shared artifacts and resources available to researchers.

Runnable Code via the Web Browser

MATLAB Online and Simulink Online™ provide access in a web browser, without installations and downloads.  Access to data on MATLAB Drive allows researchers to work remotely and effectively on shared projects and exchange artifacts. MATLAB code and standalone apps (5:23) enable porting and reusing content on browsers and local machines.

MATLAB Online can also be installed at locations with large datasets, minimizing the need for data transfer.


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

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 MATLAB available for use with hosted artifacts and on shared compute facilities.

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 MATLAB access to external collaborators working on a project.

Open Science in Education

Open Science is not limited to research. It includes making scientific output and methods available and accessible to students and educators. Examples of publicly accessible resources for educators and students:

See also: computational thinking, research with MATLAB and Simulink

Shareable, Reusable MATLAB Code