|Matthew Dublin is a senior writer at Genome Technology.|
NCI Develops Roadmap for Open Development
Juli Klemm, associate director of Integrative Cancer Research Products and Programs at the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology at NCI, writes that for more than two years, she and her colleagues have been discussing and thinking about how to create such an ecosystem around the digital resources developed through the caBIG program.
They are not starting from scratch — the caBIG program is already open-source, with the "caBIG Open Source License" that allows users to download and alter code to suit their needs.
"We recognize that meeting the challenge of creating robust and useful tools to support the rapidly evolving needs of the cancer research community requires an open and collaborative approach to software development," Klemm writes.
NCI has looked to a number of similar efforts to help them build a roadmap for how to create this ecosystem. Their role models have included the open-development efforts of the Veteran's Administration and NASA as well as the open-source efforts of Apache, Mozilla, and Google.
In June of 2011, the NCIP issued an RFI in an attempt to collect input from the community on what their open-development ecosystem should look like.
While they only received 20 responses, Klemm writes that some of the respondents joined them at their Rockville offices and formed a sort of open-source think tank.
Click here to read the results of the meeting and what guidelines Klemm and her colleagues are moving forward with.