Authors: Marina Curtis, Gerardo H. Nunez
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gerardo H. Nunez
College: Agricultural and Life Sciences
Horticultural scientists use software in order to quickly and accurately analyze experimental data. Open source software presents an opportunity for scientists to develop and share field-specific programs, access software regardless of academic affiliation, and save on the funding that would be spent on software licenses. Nevertheless, many labs continue to use proprietary statistical analysis software. We aimed to identify trends in statistical software use among horticultural scientists to determine if open source software use has increased in the field. We surveyed articles published in HortTechnology during the decade 2010 to 2019. From each issue, ten original research articles were randomly selected, and the software used was recorded. We found that while proprietary programs such as SAS continue to be mainstays for the industry, open source programs such as R and SPSS became more popular by the end of the decade. These results suggest that open source software use in horticulture will continue to grow in the future. Therefore, horticulture education programs should consider teaching basic coding for open source.