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INCF/MathWorks Working Group on Early-stage MATLAB Community Toolboxes

Active, Soliciting members

Vijay Iyer, MathWorks


Open-source software ecosystems are highly dynamic and innovative, owing to their collaborative and flexible nature. At the same time, this poses a challenge: the individuals or organizations creating, contributing to, and maintaining open-source codebases are often in flux and highly distributed.  This working group addresses this challenge for ‘MATLAB community toolboxes’ in neuroscience. MATLAB community toolboxes are open-source code distributions of structured functionality built with MATLAB. This working group focuses on new or orphaned codebases, selected based on their potential for broad usage. The central contribution of this working group is the creation and maintenance of a dedicated GitHub organization to host these community resources. 

This working group is open to past and active interim maintainers of these selected MATLAB community toolboxes and to those contributing to best practices on their development. The group aims to develop and maintain consensual guidelines and templates for GitHub repository stewardship. It will also elaborate on and disseminate best practices, including MathWorks’ recommendations for community toolboxes, as relevant in the neuroscience context. Finally, the group aspires that many of the selected MATLAB community toolboxes will transition to more permanent individual- or organization-led development over time. 

This working group is sponsored by the MATLAB Community Toolbox (MCT) program at MathWorks.


Link to MATLAB Community Toolboxes at INCF
GitHub org repo
How we work
  • Annual meeting cycle
    • Winter
    • Summer
  • Technology: GitHub organization, Zoom meetings

Vijay Iyer (MathWorks)
Tibor Auer (Independent Research Software Engineer, Rosalind Franklin Institute)
Stephen Van Hooser (Brandeis U, Waltham Data Science LLC)


The goal of the MatNWB working group is to support the re-use of neurophysiology data via NWB by collecting MATLAB user requirements, outreaching to the wider MATLAB user community, coordinating among development teams (MatNWB, core NWB, MathWorks), identifying community project and collaboration opportunities, and other activities as may be determined.

  • Propose/contribute content for a “.gitHub” repository for the GitHub organization, including a structured list of best practices markdown documents (e.g., how to adopt a MATLAB Community Toolbox).
  • Develop a template repository for seed/orphaned repos encompassing: README, LICENSE file, code of conduct,
  • Contribute initial best practices mark documents for early-stage/orphaned GitHub repository stewardship, wrt GitHub DevOps aspects (e.g., repo branch management) & MATLAB aspects (e.g., File Exchange linking)
  • (Stretch Goal) Create a 'dashboard' that gives an at-a-glance view of status and engagement metrics for each MATLAB community toolbox in the organization