IOSACal is written in the Python programming language and it can runnatively on any platform where the Python interpreter is available,including all Linux distributions, MacOS X and other UNIX operatingsystems, and Microsoft Windows.
Source code is made available under the terms of the GNU General PublicLicense.
Most available programs for radiocarbon calibration, like OxCal, CALIBand others, are freeware. You don't have to pay for them, but on theother side you're not free to modify them as you need, nor to access andstudy the source code.
This is the main motivation behind IOSACal: creating afree-as-in-freedom radiocarbon calibration software, with a cleanprogramming library, that enables experiments and integration inexisting archaeological information systems.
Furthermore, writing this software from scratch is an alternative way oflearning how 14C calibration works, not only in strict mathematicalterms, but also from a practical point of view.
IOSACal takes a radiocarbon determination and outputs a calibrated ageas a set of probability intervals. A radiocarbon date is represented bya date in years BP (before present, that is before 1950 AD) and astandard deviation, like 2430±170. The combination of these two valuesis a numerical representation of a laboratory measure performed on theoriginal organic material.
The main task of the calibration process is to convert this measure intoa set of calendar dates by means of a calibration curve. Users canchoose whether they want results as a plot, a short textual summary orboth (the plot includes the summary).
IOSACal reads calibration curves in the common .14c format used alsoby other programs. Should you have calibration data in another format,it would be easy to either convert them to that format or modify thesource code of IOSACal to adapt it to your needs.
Yes, IOSACal has been used in research projects with large numbers ofradiocarbon dates. Using IOSACal with Jupyter Notebooksis ideal for reproducible research that can be easily shared. Furthermore, it takeslittle effort to customize and adapt the existing code to your specificneeds. IOSACal is reasonably fast, especially for batch processing.
The web application is ideal forquick checks on single radiocarbon dates, and requires noregistration. Please note that the web application may not be updatedto the latest version of IOSACal.
If you make use of IOSACal in your work, please cite it with theappropriate reference (DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.630455). This helpsus get some recognition for creating and maintaining this software freefor everyone.