Tufts University named best open-source school in America

A new report identifies the U.S. colleges and universities doing the most to promote the use of open-source software.

Tufts University does more than any other U.S. college or university to promote the use of open-source software, according to a new report from researchers backed by Spanish software download site PortalProgramas.

The researchers ranked 297 American educational institutions based on a range of different criteria, including participation in open-source projects like the OpenCourseWare Consortium and the Open Source Science Project. The rankings also measured whether colleges used open-source software operationally – specifically, for virtual learning environments and web servers.

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Tufts, which is located just north of Boston, took the top prize, with Utah State in second place, followed by Notre Dame in third. Unsurprisingly, many of the schools most associated with the tech industry were highly ranked, with UC - Berkeley, Carnegie-Mellon, MIT, and Stanford all within the top 15. The study also broke down the results by state, with Utah on top, followed by Massachusetts and Indiana.

open source

Tufts’ CIO David Kahle said he was “thrilled” to get the news, given the school’s overall commitment to open-source principles.

“It wasn’t a surprise, but it was a pleasure,” he says. “Tufts has had a very strong and active history with open technology.”

The index – which the researchers called the Open-Source Divulgation Index, or OSDI – was calibrated such that Tufts scored a perfect 100 out of 100 as the top-performing school, and the others were graded in comparison. Second-place Utah State received a score of 93.01, and Notre Dame got a 57.10 – the only institutions to cross the 50% line. The average OSDI mark was 10.31.

The team said that its methodology was developed according to the Berlin Principles established by UNESCO in 2006 for ranking higher educational institutions. Special attention was paid to transparency – the raw data and information on methods of collection is available on the group’s website – as well as clarity in presentation.

More from the report here

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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