Open Sourcein science

University teacher: Penič Samo
Number of credits: 4

Description of the subject

In this course, we will learn about the principles of open source development methodology, the benefits of open source licences (such as the Creative Commons Licences) and open research data and databases that underpin open science and enable the development of new research approaches and tools.

We will test the benefits of open source with practical examples from software tools (such as the Linux operating system and its Android mobile version, the LaTeX text editor widely used by scientific writers, the GNU Octave mathematical tool), hardware (such as the Arduino microcontroller development system and the Raspberry Pi microcomputer), databases (such as Wikimedia Commons, a component of the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, and language corpora), and problems related to different data (“big data”, domain data, public sector data, etc.).

Objectives and competences:

Knowing the basic idea of open source, which is free and practical access to a product, including its design and architecture, allowing anyone to not only use the product, but also to develop it further.

Familiarity with open source development methodology, which has proven to be a highly successful development and business model, offering open collaboration instead of closed competition, and which is increasingly widespread in the fields of science, technology, databases, social organisation, etc.

Understanding the basic idea of open source and open source development methodology (including practical examples from science, technology, databases, social organisation, etc.).

Understanding the wider meaning of open source in the social and scientific environment.


Working methods:

  • The lectures will also help us to present the widest possible range of applications of open source, with the help of experts from different fields.
  • In the seminar, students will present a topic of their choice or organise themselves in a group to tackle a more challenging project and publish it on an open platform (e.g. Github).
  • Interdisciplinarity, project work and group work will be encouraged in the framework of independent work.



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: Linuxnanamizju, 2010. (;
  • Linux Gazette;
  • Linux Journal

Studies in which the course is conducted:

  • 0th year – level – Extracurricular activity

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University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering Tržaška cesta 25, 1000 Ljubljana

E: T:  01 4768 411