The Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) is a peer-reviewed academic journal that specializes in the publication of articles about open source scientific research software. In JOSS, authors can submit a software project along with a description of its scientific use, capacities, limitations, the technical resources required to deploy it, how to access it, and its associated technical documentation. Following submission, a ’software-native’ review (on GitHub) workflow enables community members to perform code review as well as review documentation and associated metadata. Once published, scientists who use, reuse, adapt, or modify a piece of JOSS-published software in their own research can then cite the JOSS Document Object Identifier (DOI), giving recognition to the software’s developers and creating corresponding professional incentives for scientists to contribute to the development of open source research software.
Funds from this grant support efforts to allow JOSS to better serve its authors and readers through improving and documenting a number of elements of the JOSS technical platform as well as generalizing the software review components for peer review of software outside of JOSS. Funded activities include planned improvements to the “bot” that automates much of the coordination and technical checking of software submitted to the journal, as well as the creation of developer guides, deployment recipes, and a reviewer management system. The underlying JOSS infrastructure is itself an open source project, allowing other organizations interested in conducting automated software review to benefit from the JOSS team’s work.