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Freely and openly shared low-cost electronic applications, known as open electronics, have sparked a new open-source movement, with much un-tapped potential to advance scientific research. Initially designed to appeal to electronic hobbyists, open electronics have formed a global community of "makers" and inventors and are increasingly used in science and industry. Here, we review the current benefits of open electronics for scientific research and guide academics to enter this emerging field. We discuss how electronic applications, from the experimental to the theoretical sciences, can help (I) individual researchers by increasing the customization, efficiency, and scalability of experiments, while improving data quantity and quality; (II) scientific institutions by improving access and maintenance of high-end technologies, visibility and interdisciplinary collaboration potential; and (III) the scientific community by improving transparency and reproducibility, helping decouple research capacity from funding, increasing innovation, and improving collaboration potential among researchers and the public. Open electronics are powerful tools to increase creativity, democratization, and reproducibility of research and thus offer practical solutions to overcome significant barriers in science.


This report was originally published on in June 2021.


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