The JOSS review process

Firstly, thank you so much for agreeing to review for the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS), we’re delighted to have your help. This document is designed to outline our editorial guidelines and help you understand our requirements for accepting a submission into the JOSS. Our review process is based on a tried-and-tested approach of the rOpenSci collaboration.

Guiding principles

We like to think of JOSS as a ‘developer friendly’ journal. That is, if the submitting authors have followed best practices (have documentation, tests, continuous integration, and a license) then their review should be rapid.

For those submissions that don’t quite meet the bar, please try to give clear feedback on how authors could improve their submission. A key goal of JOSS is to raise the quality of research software generally and you (the experienced reviewer) are well placed to give this feedback.

A JOSS review involves checking submissions against a checklist of essential software features and details in the submitted paper.

We encourage reviewers to file issues against the submitted repository’s issue tracker. When you have completed your review, please leave a comment in the review issue saying so.

You can include in your review links to any new issues that you the reviewer believe to be impeding the acceptance of the repository. (Similarly, if the submitted repository is a GitHub repository, mentioning the review issue URL in the submitted repository’s issue tracker will create a mention in the review issue’s history.)