The main aim of the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) is to provide researchers who develop, contribute to, and keep open supply software program a way to get citable credit score for his or her work inside at present’s analysis ecosystem. In quick, JOSS is a developer-friendly journal for publishing analysis software program packages. It’s additionally a web based educational journal (ISSN 2475-9066) with a proper peer evaluation course of that’s designed to enhance the standard of the software program submitted by ensuring it meets minimal requirements and consists of normal identifiers for content material on digital networks (Digital Object Identifiers, or DOIs) for all accepted papers.
In an ideal world, we might wish to see credit score given on to software program, however in at present’s analysis world, citations to papers and different merchandise are the usual means for monitoring the influence and use of analysis work. (Certainly there are issues with citations; that is merely a sensible selection.) We acknowledge that for many researchers, papers, not software program, are the forex of educational analysis, and citations are required for profession. In educational and authorities analysis, citations of papers are one of many two fundamental elements that rely in hiring and promotion choices, together with getting analysis funding. We’ve created JOSS in order that software program builders can get the identical credit score as conventional authors, by making it simple for builders to show their software program into citable papers.
We acknowledge that for many researchers, papers, not software program, are the forex of educational analysis.
After you have performed the exhausting work of writing nice software program, it should not take weeks or months to write down a paper about your work. In truth, as we are saying on our About page, in case your software program is already properly documented, then paper preparation ought to take not more than an hour.
This features a easy submission workflow and in depth documentation that will help you put together your submission, which creates a difficulty in our GitHub repository. The paper itself is a brief markdown file that ought to comprise:
- A abstract describing the high-level performance and function of the software program for a various, non-specialist viewers
- A transparent assertion of want that illustrates the aim of the software program
- A listing of key references, together with a hyperlink to the software program archive
- Mentions (if relevant) of any ongoing analysis tasks utilizing the software program or current scholarly publications enabled by it
After this, it’s our flip. An editor-in-chief and 18 subject editors make up our editorial board. The editor-in-chief does a short scan to ensure the paper appears appropriate for JOSS (is it a few software program bundle doubtless for use and cited within the analysis ecosystem?), then an editor takes duty for the remainder of the evaluation course of. The editor finds a number of reviewers who conform to evaluation the paper, creates a brand new GitHub difficulty for the evaluation itself, and closes the pre-review difficulty.
A bot (named Whedon) screens the JOSS points, and performing on key phrases from editors, performs most of the core mechanical components of the method, similar to assigning reviewers and editors, creating evaluation points, and compiling PDFs upon acceptance.
The evaluation difficulty comprises a guidelines of 18 gadgets for the reviewer(s) to work by, together with agreeing with JOSS’s insurance policies on conflicts of curiosity and code of conduct; common checks on supply code availability, use of an OSI-approved license, matching the software program model within the paper and the repository and confirming that the submitter is an writer of the software program; checking on performance, together with set up and efficiency claims, if acceptable; checking on documentation, which ought to embrace a press release of want for the software program, set up directions, instance utilization, and documentation of performance, checks, and group tips; and at last, checking on the software program paper itself, together with making certain that the listing of authors is affordable, the assertion of want is within the paper, and that ample and well-structured references are current.
If your software program is already properly documented, then paper preparation ought to take not more than an hour.
Because that is performed through a GitHub difficulty, when a reviewer finds an issue, they’ll remark within the evaluation difficulty or open a brand new difficulty for the precise drawback within the repository of the submission being reviewed. The article submitter can then work together with the reviewer, asking questions, making modifications, and so forth. till the reviewer is happy, as moderated by the assigned JOSS editor. The aim of JOSS is to not reject a proportion of papers (though some rejections do occur when authors resolve to withdraw moderately than revise the submission primarily based on the reviewer’s suggestions), however to enhance submissions till they’re acceptable. This normally takes just a few weeks, but when everybody could be very responsive, it has been recognized to be accomplished in a day. However, in some instances, notably with bigger tasks, the evaluation course of can take for much longer, particularly when documentation is unclear or options must be added.
Once the reviewer(s) and editor are happy with the paper, the submitting writer deposits a duplicate of the supply code repository in an archival knowledge repository similar to Zenodo or figshare. A everlasting hyperlink to this software program archive is then added to the paper, which is transformed from markdown to PDF, and article metadata is deposited in Crossref. The evaluation difficulty is closed, and the JOSS web site is up to date with the ultimate model of the JOSS paper (PDF), together with its DOI issued by Crossref. Just just like the papers being reviewed, the ultimate articles and metadata are versioned in a public repository in addition to the JOSS website.
Now the authors have a paper with a DOI for the software program and might add this info to their repository, in both the README or a CITATION file, telling customers how you can cite the software program in a approach that matches naturally into at present’s analysis ecosystem. When customers cite the software program, the authors will be capable to see this and get credit score for the software program, simply as they’d had they written a analysis article.
In its first 19 months (May 11, 2016 – Dec 10, 2017), JOSS has accepted 187 papers. You can learn extra about JOSS and its standing in an arXiv preprint.