Call for collaboration on a paper

Hello everyone,

I would like to write a paper entitled “Open Software Landscape for Science Hardware Development”. I feel this paper is needed for a few reasons:

  • To promote Open Software in the development of scientific instrumentation as it is so important for replication of experiments
  • To highlight available software, its pros and cons, and workarounds for specific issues
  • To identify software that is needed
  • To highlight the need for funding for this software

I want to write this paper as a totally open collaboration. Hopefully this will draw in a larger number of authors with different experience and knowledge.

The repository for the paper is on GitLab.. I don’t want to get into a lengthy discussion about Git/LaTeX, vs Google Docs or Overleaf. In an effort to make the project more friendly to a wider audience PDFs, Word docs, and ODT versions are automatically created. Edit/comment on these in a way where your changes are obvious and submit them back to me by email. I will find a way to get them in, and mark that they are your contributions.

Feel free to share widely.


Hello, our Africa OSH community member @klassicSimon is interested in working on the project.


Would be great to get @klassicSimon’s input. Happy to chat about it here, or on GitLab, or he has my email :slightly_smiling_face:


@julianstirling it’s a great privilege to share my perspective and observations as a contribution to this paper.


JOH (Journal of Open Hardware) would be interested in evaluating this piece for publication !


Dear Julian,

I have been working, in Brazil, with the water theme and sharing technical and scientific information on website:

Nowadays I develop DIY (Do It Yourself) automation projects related to the water theme using low cost materials, open hardware (Arduino) and free software (Linux).

I believe in the importance of this approach to developing small-scale, low-cost, open solutions to the world’s water challenges in addition to large-scale initiatives.

By small-scale initiatives I refer to projects developed by by individuals, small groups of citizens or entrepreneurs.

How can I help you?
Best Regards,

1 Like

Thanks Markos, Such a huge resource there!

At this stage I am mostly interested in collating what Open Source Software software people use, and what software they can’t find a good open alternative for (or can’t find any software for).

Reading some of your website via google translate also brings up this issue of how well translated software is, something I don’t tend to think about as a native English speaker.

If you could download the PDF (or ODT) and see if there are things you would add to the outline. Then let me know in any way that is convenient for you. You mention Arduino, I think software for programming microcontrollers is a key thing that I have so far neglected. I think that @oli.keller is going to add something about FPGA, but we shouldn’t skip more simple microcontrollers.

Thanks for the interest :slight_smile:

1 Like

Comments about LECIS and AnIML.

  • We have developed many projects for the automation of instruments and/or equipment for use in water laboratories, and practically all of them were “developed from scratch” (from scratch).
  • Over time, we realized the need to adopt some “standardized” development model to simplify the development of integrated automation systems.
  • We found in the LECIS-ASTM ( and LECIS-OMG ( an interesting alternative and decided to follow the fundamental principles of this standard for the development of a multipurpose system for the automated control of instruments and/or equipment.
  • The LECIS standard (Laboratory Equipment Control Interface Specification) defines criteria for an interface for the uniform and integrated remote control of instruments and/or equipment for the execution of experimental procedures.
  • The LECIS standard is based on the principle of “deterministic remote control” of “ “laboratory devices”. Laboratory devices, which can be instruments or equipment, are represented as SLMs (Standard Laboratory Modules), which are controlled by the TSC (Task Sequence Controller).
  • Another standard that could be useful to guide the development of open source research projects is the AnIML standard.
  • The Analytical Information Markup Language (AnIML) is an open ASTM XML standard for storing and sharing any analytical chemistry and biological data.
1 Like

I think that LECIS is in scope. There is actually a very active (perhaps too active :grimacing:) thread on the repository about standards for equipment control. I think that what will probably happen is that the importance of compliance with open standards for interoperable control will be talked about with a few examples sprinkled in. This is not really my expertise so I am allowing others to have that debate, you might want to join in.

I think that AnIML is probably out of scope. Whist data standards and data analysis are incredibly important, I think that the scientific community is already getting very good at talking about this. I worry that by also including data standards into the scope will make the paper grow too long, and shift focus away from instrumentation.

1 Like

Hi Julian,

I suggested a “dictionary of words” (verbs and nouns) with the respective descriptions of the meaning of each word that would be used as a reference for the development of interface between programs from different providers.

My very small contribution,
Best Regards,


Is this in the standards thread? I haven’t had time to go through it yet.